CALPUFF is no longer a regulatory model for the US EPA

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calpuff recommended model EPA   The website of the Support Center for Regulatory Atmospheric Modeling (SCRAM) no longer includes the CALPUFF model as a recommended dispersion model. This means that one of the most widely dispersion model used for odour modelling is not recommended by the US EPA any more. This decision has serious consequences for the odour community.

   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) originally published the Guideline on Air Quality Models in 1978. Since then, a few revisions of the Guideline have been carried out. In 2003, this Guideline was modified to include CALPUFF as one of the preferred model. This model was removed from the "preferred list" in May, 22 2017 (and now from the website). allegedly due to concerns about its capabilities to deal with long-range transportation of pollutants. This is no argument to exclude this model from the recommended list, as it is widely used for other purposes, different from long-range transportation. For example, when dealing with the calculation of the odour impact of a facility.

CALPUFF Model, History and Current Status – Part 1

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CALPUFF 2003 2019

   Dispersion modelling is a key element of most odour assessments around the world. There are 2 or 3 well known dispersion models developed for regulatory assessments of which the most well-known are, AERMOD and CALPUFF. Because both models have been US EPA guideline models until CALPUFF was recently removed in 2017, they are routinely used in most air quality and odour assessments.

   This article highlights the history and background behind CALPUFF and, the reason for its removal as a US EPA guideline model. Concerns with AERMOD for odour assessments will be presented in a separate document, Part 2.

Jennifer Barclay

Atmospheric Science Global (ASG). Auckland, New Zealand


CALPUFF updated to version 7.3.1

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calpuff update oct 19   CALPUFF Version 7.3.1 has been released. This version incorporates an agricultural spraying source type. In addition, several bugs were identified and fixed in Version 7.2.1 including issues with the use of multiple sub-hourly variable emissions files and processing missing layers in AERMET generated .PFL files. This model is out of the list of recommended models of the US EPA but it is the most appropriate under low wind/calm conditions that influence odour impact and with complex terrains. 

  The CALPUFF Modelling System is a non-steady-state puff dispersion model that simulates the effects of time- and space-varying meteorological conditions on pollution transport, transformation, and removal. In this CALPUFF has been updated to version 7.3.1. CALPUFF is composed of several post-processors. In this new version the post-processors CALPOST, CALSUM and POSTUTIL, have also been updated to allow processing of the new spray source type.

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