The National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) is an online tool designed to evaluate the opportunities to reduce the air emissions and odors associated with livestock facilities and manure handling, storage and application. The tool, released in August 2010, is available for producers, their advisors and management team online. NAQSAT provides producers the opportunity to evaluate their current management practices and compare potential emissions and odor mitigation practices for their farm in the privacy of their own home or office. The tool provides valuable information for the producer while maintaining the confidentiality they may prefer.
NAQSAT can be used for swine, dairy, beef feed lots, broiler chicken, laying hen and turkey operations. The tool addresses eight management categories related to air emissions: animals and housing, feed and water, collection and transfer of manure, manure storage, land application, mortalities, on-farm roads and public perception.
Users of the tool are asked a series of questions under each management category. Based on the answers to previous questions, the tool determines what additional questions need to be answered. Only questions that pertain to the current user will be asked. Pop-up pictures assist in determining the relative rating to select where a visual evaluation will increase accuracy.
The picture below provides a copy of the NAQSAT report or Effectiveness Results page. Notice the effectiveness results do not contain quantitative numbers. The tool was designed to be user friendly void of any concern that it could be considered a regulatory tool.
To interpret the Effectiveness Results page, the green area indicates how effectively current facilities and management practices are mitigating the emission of concern. The white area indicates the opportunity for improvement.For example, if the sample farm in the picture was concerned about methane emissions, the greatest opportunity for reducing those emissions would be in the “Animals and Housing” management category followed by “Manure Storage”since those two management categories have more white showing in the boxes under the column labeled “Methane”. The greatest opportunity for reducing odor is under “Manure Storage” and “Perception” since the other six management categories under “Odor” are either all green or almost all green. A totally green box does not indicate there are no emissions, it simply means there are limited opportunities for improvement for that emission in that management category.