Tag Archive for: Air Emissions Data

Environmental Calculations Designed by Data Quality Experts

Scientific calculations are an essential aspect of many fields of study, including physics, chemistry, and engineering including environmental engineering. These calculations involve complex formulas and equations that are often too time-consuming and challenging to solve by hand. Fortunately, programming languages and software have made it easier for scientists and researchers to carry out scientific calculations quickly and accurately. Software plays a vital role in environmental calculations, as it provides scientists and researchers with a powerful tool for analyzing and interpreting complex data related to the environment. Environmental engineers need to deal with vast amounts of data that must be analyzed to draw meaningful conclusions. The environmental field encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including climate science, ecology, and environmental engineering, and each of these areas requires specific types of calculations that can be performed more efficiently and accurately using computers.

In recent years, many programming languages have been developed that are specifically designed for scientific computing. These languages, such as MATLAB, Python, and R, are powerful tools for numerical analysis and data visualization. However, programming for environmental calculations poses some challenges. One of the primary challenges is ensuring that the code is accurate and reliable. Even small errors in the code can lead to significant errors in the results, which can have serious consequences for environmental decision-making.

Collections of environmental data in an enterprise pose another set of challenges, including gathering data from all business units and ensuring the accuracy, accessibility, interoperability, and privacy of data. Addressing these challenges requires careful planning, collaboration, and the adoption of standardized data formats and protocols.

Software applications developed at Locus like Environmental Information Management (EIM), Greenhouse Gas, Air Emissions and Sustainability address these challenges by offering tailored solutions for environmental scientists. One of the key advantages of using these applications is that it allows scientists to automate many of the tedious and time-consuming tasks involved in data collection, scientific calculations, analysis, and regulatory reporting. These applications have gone through extensive testing ensuring accurate and reliable results and the automation can make regulatory reporting a breeze when time is of the essence.

In conclusion, scientific calculations are an essential aspect of environmental engineering, and Locus offers powerful tools for performing these calculations quickly and accurately. By using Locus software, scientists and researchers can automate tedious tasks, process large datasets, and extract valuable insights from the environmental data of the organization.


Have Questions? Contact us to learn more.


    Company Email


    Tell us about your company's needs

    Locus is committed to preserving your privacy.

    Clarify Your Air Quality Data Vlog

    When looking for a GHG reporting program, there is one element that is typically overlooked. This short video gives us more insight.

    Shed Light On Your Air and GHG Calculations

    Locus’ Air Quality app is designed to integrate with data sources to seamlessly calculate air emissions monthly or annually.

    Streamline and Save on Your Title V Reporting

    Simplify your air quality data management and reporting with Locus’ unified software solution. Our Air Quality application resolves most common issues with managing and submitting your site emissions data. Locus handles all required regulatory data from your facilities in one centralized platform and makes it possible to streamline your tracking and reporting requirements for programs such as Title V, GHG, Fenceline, and LCFS.

    Title V Compliance Infographic

    Environmental compliance software screenshot of Locus Platform Air Quality Title V dashboard with iPad for air quality monitoring samples

    Contact us to see a demo of the Air Quality app


      Company Email


      Tell us about your company's needs

      Locus is committed to preserving your privacy.

      5 Keys to Simpler Air Quality Monitoring

      Time management is an ever-present struggle. With expanding air quality monitoring and regulatory programs, more is expected from air quality professionals without compromising work quality. Locus Technologies offers the tools to ease your workload. Here’s how Locus transforms your air quality data and reporting management:



      Integration can save you a great deal of time and stress with the most cumbersome air quality data management duties. Our air quality software has a unique point and click integration application enabling connection with major databases and third-party systems that have open API (access privileges). Some integration, database, and communication standards and methods that are supported include OLE compliance, SOAP, COM, Java, XML, web services, DBC/ODMA/SQL/Oracle, AWS, VIM, and MAPI.

      Locus also provides a powerful two-way synchronization with MS Excel, allowing users to download to Excel, then work, edit, verify, or append data on their local copy of Excel. Any revisions they perform to the downloaded data can be automatically synchronized back to the Locus Platform application. During the process, a complete audit trail will be preserved. This is a great time saver, especially if you are sending large volumes of valid values in a database or if you are migrating any historical data.


      Dashboards Tailored to Your Needs

      Your air quality data management software should have built-in dashboards to meet your needs. With other software providers, when you need a new report, chart, or other visualization of your air quality data, it usually incurs a custom software development charge. Locus allows you to assemble the information you want in your chosen format (bar or line charts, maps, tables, treemaps, diagrams, etc.) and share your custom dashboards and real-time information/data with your team or regulators without the fees. In addition, the views and dashboards export to Excel, so you can easily integrate with commonly used tools and further mine the data.

      Environmental compliance software screenshot of Locus Platform Air Quality Title V dashboard with iPad for air quality monitoring samples

      With Locus, powerful dashboards will help you understand the status of single of multiple facilities in an air quality program based on a matrix you design. With the the flexibility of Locus, facility information can be automatically populated based on the user credentials, saving you and your team time and frustration.


      Simplified Reporting

      Locus Platform’s air quality application and calculation engine supports simultaneous calculations using multiple methods for various reporting programs including EPA, State, or Local, CDP, TCR, DJSI, Title V, e, and others. Our software also assists in streamlining your emissions tracking and reporting requirements for programs such as GHG, Fenceline, Title V, and LCFS. Locus air quality software is fully integrated with our compliance/asset management and remote sensing systems, making digital transformation more efficient. In addition, Locus’ vapor intrusion and indoor air management application will easily organize, manage, and report indoor air and vapor intrusion data.

      GHG and Title V Exports

      This allows users to input data only once and utilize it to report to multiple federal, state, and voluntary reporting programs, according to your required format. The application will also support direct electronic reporting formats for many reporting programs, so that additional manual transcription and submittal of data are no longer necessary. This is a very powerful tool and a huge advantage to customers in terms of improving efficiency, while reducing costs.



      Locus’ Mobile application allows you to sync with your server to create in-field data collection profiles on a mobile device, whether it’s your phone or a tablet. It will allow you to click through and enter field inspection data on the device even when you are offline. Air quality field operations data validation is performed in real-time and is stored locally on the device when you are out of service range, with data will automatically being updated in Locus’ cloud when you have connection.

      Locus Mobile

      Locus gives the benefits of data entry directly on the mobile device, with immediate data availability on the cloud when you reach an internet signal. Other advantages of using Locus Mobile includes location metadata and mapping integration, bar-code/OR code scanning, voice recognition, and form customization.


      Easy to Use Calculation Library

      To alleviate the effort in researching complex air emissions calculations ranging from GHG to Tank emissions, Locus has designed a Java Library, Curta, for complicated scientific computing on our software. Curta contains a collection of built-in functionality, unit conversions, periodic and hierarchical calculations that can be used to solve mathematical models of problems in Science and Engineering.

      Curta can be used directly as API (Application Program Interface) in the UI (User Interface) design, or implicitly combined with the Locus Platform Sustainability application with clear break down into calculation indicators and sources. It offers an integrated solution to work with different data types, continuously changing inputs and large set of unknown variables.

      Curta features include:

      • Calculation engine suite Independent code base for Curta only, safe and stable for any applications and platform.
      • Sequential calculation steps Curta can construct multi-step calculation structure where formulas can build on each other without knowing the exact values at the initiation of the calculation.
      • Conditional calculation logics Calculation steps can be set with conditions and logic for example effective date, input units, tank type etc.
      • Hierarchical calculation results Calculations can be designated to sources with hierarchy with Curta able to acknowledge the parent-child relations of the sources and present it as a calculation tree.
      • Execute parallel calculations for periodic data Curta can repeatedly conduct complicated calculation structure on a periodic base.
      • Execute parallel calculations for multiple sources Curta can repeatedly conduct complicated calculation structure for multiple linked sources for example facilities, tanks etc.

      Contact us to see Locus’ Air Quality App in action


        Company Email


        Tell us about your company's needs

        Locus is committed to preserving your privacy.

        Blockchain: aggregate emissions reporting

        In the next few years, an opportunity exists to make significant advances in how we monitor and manage environmental emissions to the air, soil, and water, potentially resulting in significant disruptions in current approaches. Currently, industries and commercial establishments monitor their emissions and submit reports on a regular basis, often as frequently as quarterly, to federal and state agencies to demonstrate they are meeting regulatory requirements. However, no one on the generating or receiving end of these data dumps and reports is aggregating these emissions to create a more composite, inclusive picture of emissions across sources or media. The reason is that emissions of different types and to different media are reported to separate regulatory entities that, in general, do not interact or talk to one another. And although there are significant potential benefits to both generators and regulators in reviewing integrated environmental data sets, our traditional methods of storing and sharing this information make such integrations a hugely difficult effort.

        Only by integrating all available data can we begin to (1) assess local, regional, and ultimately the global impacts of these emissions, and (2) identify net improvements to our environmental practices that are only apparent when looking at the combined, interconnected body of collected data. Blockchain enables the integration of these data sets for quick, yet comprehensive “big picture” assessments.

        Blockchain technology is a highly disruptive technology that offers an efficient way of storing records (called blocks) which are linked using cryptography. While still in its infancy, blockchain promises to change the world as we know it, much like the internet did after its introduction in 1991. Today, the technology is most widely associated with digital currencies and money transfers. In time, however, blockchain technology will not only shift the way we use the internet, but it will also revolutionize the global economy and almost all transactional business that relies on an intermediary.

        One Environment, Health, and Safety and Sustainability  (EHS+S) sector well positioned to benefit from blockchain technology is emissions monitoring and reporting. I reported more on the technology and its impact on EHS space here.

        Environmental monitoring current practice

        Presently, companies with emissions monitor these following regulatory requirements, input the resulting data into a database or spreadsheet, perform emissions calculations on the entered readings, and then report the results of these calculations to regulators. The entire focus of this process is to (1) determine whether emissions of a single chemical or chemicals exceed prescribed levels and (2) evaluate the effect of these discharges on the media to which the compounds have been introduced by the polluting industry or other sources. There is no suitable software technology or mechanism to look at aggregate emissions across geographical areas or sectors or how emissions of one type interact with emissions of an entirely different kind. Examining such interactions could be far more critical than monitoring and assessing the impacts on human health and the environment of single parameter emissions to only one media, and may reveal new opportunities for optimizing our EHS+S practices for reduced cost with similar or improved performance.

        Aggregate emissions

        To take a hypothetical scenario, consider the possible consequential damages when two incompatible streams of chemicals or waste mix to create even worse chemicals as a result of their chemical reaction.  EPA has only recently started looking into these type of scenarios. Its Envirofacts databases allow the public to retrieve information from multiple sources of Envirofacts’ System Data relevant to your area of interest. However, each database is a separate silo of information (Figure 1). The next step that ought to be taken is to assess and as needed, report on the possible interaction of incompatible emission sources that are nearby, but are independently monitored and stored in disconnected databases (see Figure 2 below).

        EPA Envirofacts 1

        Figure 1: EPA Envirofacts databases allow the public to retrieve information from multiple sources, but only one source at time and disconnected from each other.

        Most everyone taking prescription medicines comes to understand that interactions between drugs are quite common. Imagine something similar to the interaction of drugs in your body happening on a much larger scale in the environment. One does not have to imagine. EPA recently imposed the highest environmental fine ever at the 2,530-acre Eastern Michaud Flats Contamination Superfund site near Pocatello, Idaho. Two adjacent on-site phosphate ore processing facilities, the FMC Corporation and the J.R. Simplot Company, began operations at the site in the 1940s. The J.R. Simplot facility produces solid and liquid fertilizers using phosphate ore, sulfur, air and natural gas. The FMC plant is North America’s largest producer of elemental phosphorus which is used in a variety of products from cleaning compounds to foods.

        Operations at these plants have independently contaminated both the groundwater and soil with hazardous chemicals. Both plants have received numerous environmental violations, many of which were settled with the EPA. Each of the sites has its environmental ills (and fines), but the more significant environmental problem is a combined regional plume. Everyone knows that acids and metals do not play well together. Sulphuric acid from the J.R. Simplot operation has leaked from surface impoundments into the groundwater and, on its way downstream, has leached all kinds of toxic metals from the FMC site, creating a highly poisonous plume of contaminants. An accurate assessment of the environmental disaster that exists in this area requires that the environmental impact of the two plants be examined in toto. Blockchain-based monitoring technology would allow both the public and regulators to see the resultant subsurface commingled plume and possibly pave the way to a more comprehensive remedy.

        Issues involving contamination of multiple media have also arisen at sites where discharges of volatile organic compounds or VOCs have occurred. In Silicon Valley, where I live, many engineering consultants have made their living chasing plumes of VOC chemicals (e.g., TCE) and then, when deemed appropriate, have installed various groundwater treatment plants tucked in the back of parking lots of companies like Google or HP to ameliorate this contamination. Santa Clara, the central county in Silicon Valley, is home to more Superfund sites than any other county in the United States.

        The process is analogous to rinsing detergent from a sponge. After many rinses, it still seems to have more in it. It is an endless process with little environmental benefit. Has anyone looked at the additional impact of the high energy demand for treatment systems that have minimal effect on improving groundwater, but can contribute significant CO2 equivalents to the atmosphere?

        With blockchain technology, we could simultaneously measure the positive effect of the treatment plant removing contaminants from water and the negative impact that this same plant produces by contributing to the CO2 emissions. Quantities of removed chemicals over time could be plotted in real time vs. CO2 emissions produced resulting from high energy usage of the treatment plant. This would allow companies operating treatment plants and regulators overseeing them to determine at what point in time continued treatment could be harming, not helping the environment. It is these type of analyses that would benefit society and help with the decision to shut down a remediation process when diminishing returns of the treatment system are reached.

        EPA Envirofacts 2

        Figure 2: Interaction of incompatible emission sources is better managed if emissions are aggregated than if independently monitored and stored in disconnected databases.

        How would blockchain technology help in a scenario like this? Chemical removal rate would be tracked in one block (of the chain) and CO2 emissions in another. Owner and regulator would agree on the formula to determine when the treatment process ceases to produce a significant environmental benefit. At this point, the system would be shut down. All of this would be monitored and measured in real time, and more importantly, it would be transparent to the owner, regulator, and the public.

        Emissions measures should be preemptive, not reactive

        When you think about emissions, they are generally (except incidents and accidents)  operating problems that can be managed and optimized before discharges even happen. It is to the benefit of companies to do it this way. Every process that has an exhaust or smokestack for dispersing air emissions or pipelines for discharging liquids to surface receptors or water bodies could be managed to reduce harmful emissions coming out the system regardless of regulatory prescribed permissible levels. As an organization with a legacy environmental site knows, it is far more cost-effective to eliminate the original cause of emission than to spend decades of effort to remediate after the fact.

        Unfortunately, many businesses are currently not genuinely looking at the aggregated data they collect about their emissions, wastewater, and energy use alongside their operational metrics. Current practices for EHS+S data management only allow for very simplistic comparison of normalized indicators between these disparate data sets.  But it would benefit these operators to gather, aggregate and analyze data, and then make better, more cost-effective decisions as part of their risk-management protocols, while still maintaining their environmental compliance requirements. Blockchain technology allows for review of more detailed data when making decisions with aggregated data sources so that managers can look beyond the simple normalized performance indicators. For example, many organizations only review their environmental and sustainability performance on an annual basis, mainly because the current tools to aggregate this data require them to be evaluated on a consistent time frame, and there is a significant investment in bringing all of the relevant data together. But through blockchain technology, the data maintain their connection at every level.  This allows for trend evaluation at other time frames not currently being examined. So if some short-term operational practice causes a spike in emissions, that issue can be identified and resolved immediately, rather than waiting for the end of the year, when the emissions have already happened, and the effect may not even be apparent when averaged out on an annual time frame. Then, even looking beyond the facility or organization, blockchain also allows for data aggregation across industry, region, and country, so that we will be in a better position to forecast the future and assess the viability of different measures to ameliorate the problems confronting us.

        A bigger picture

        There is a growing need for companies to bring together information from their vast disconnected databases, single tenant clouds, and spreadsheets, and then mine the data they collect from these sources. In a decade or so, planet Earth may be a meshed grid of static sensors coupled with movable ones installed on people, animals (yes animals roaming in the wild), transportation devices, and other moving objects to collect data in real time. The conversation about the environmental landscape has evolved drastically over the last 50 years as we continue to understand the extent to which human activity has affected the planet. Companies and society need a collective and holistic understanding of the problems we face.

        The only way to understand the full picture, and in turn to act meaningfully on a global level, is for all individuals and companies to understand the impact of their activities. It’s impossible to mitigate the net risks and effects of these activities on the planet when we have not fully assembled the data to characterize the problem and understand the full picture. Blockchain technology offers the best path forward, making it possible for environmental data be integrated at multiple levels. Any coordinated effort of this magnitude will be years in the making, but every journey starts with a first step. There are two impediments to institute a change like this: technology (until recently, blockchain did not exist) and a government with the initiative to require such technology. Just as was the case with the internet revolution of the nineties, the rate of progress in technology is surpassing politicians’ ability to come to grips with its impact on society.

        So far, there have been no imposed data exchange standards; a prerequisite for a broad data exchange, land for implementation of blockchain technology.  But in the meantime, progressive organizations will want to start taking advantage of this technology to look at their operations and make more informed EHS+S decisions.

        Looking forward with blockchain technology

        Perhaps blockchain technology is not ready for prime time. Some may argue that it creates a secondary problem of additional energy consumption much like water treatment systems described earlier. This is a theme that is advocated by some media outlets and blockchain skeptics who argue that the computer algorithms require significant amounts of electricity to power the servers on which they run. Estimates of blockchain’s soaring energy use are likely overstating the electric power used as the current debate on power consumption is not backed by hard data. When it comes to technology, history has consistently shown that the cost will always decrease, and the impact will still increase over time. It is inevitable that blockchain technology will become more accessible with reduced infrastructure over the next few years.

        Blockchain IoT Decentralization

        Blockchain could completely change how companies run their businesses and present new opportunities far beyond sustainability and environmental emissions management.

        We are living in a world where companies and governmental agencies are not able to comprehensively analyze  EHS+S information efficiently. Using blockchain technology will allow organizations to track, store, rollup, gain insights into, and also share their data with other interested parties as needed. It has the potential to put accurate and verifiable information into the hands of companies and regulating agencies more quickly. To make better progress on how we use EHS+S information, regulators will need to find ways that reward positive and proactive behaviors. We are not going to solve these issues by fining emitters until they behave. Blockchain technology can help us move us away from the punitive approach and toward a more collaborative one by assisting companies to reduce their emissions while lowering their operating costs at the same time. Social sharing elements may also play a role here, giving companies that benefit from the fruits of blockchain technology a valuable marketing and PR advantage over those who do not adopt this technology, and as such, lag behind in their progress on environmental issues.

        Celebrating 55 years of GIS-based EHS data insights

        GIS Day was established in 1999 to showcase the power and flexibility of geographical information systems (GIS).  In celebration of the 55th birthday of GIS, we’ve compiled a brief history of the evolution of this powerful technology, with a special focus on how it can be used in EHS applications to make environmental management easier.

        Not only is GIS more powerful than ever before—it is also vastly more accessible.  Anyone with Internet access can create custom maps based on publicly available data, from real-time traffic conditions to environmental risk factors, to local shark sightings. Software developers, even those at small companies or startups, now have access to APIs for integrating advanced GIS tools and functionality into their programs.

        Origins of GIS

        Before you can understand where GIS is today, it helps to know how it started out. This year is the 55th anniversary of the work done by Roger Tomlinson in 1962 with the Canada Land Inventory. We consider this the birth of GIS, and Mr. Tomlinson has been called the “father of GIS”.

        The original GIS used computers and digitalization to “unlock” the data in paper maps, making it possible to combine data from multiple maps and perform spatial analyses. For example, in the image shown here from the Canada Land Inventory GIS, farms in Ontario are classified by revenue to map farm performance.

        An early GIS system from the Canada Land Inventory, in Data for Decisions, 1967

        An early GIS system from the Canada Land Inventory, in Data for Decisions, 1967
        Photo: Mbfleming. “Data for Decisions (1967).” YouTube, 12 Aug. 2007, https://youtu.be/ryWcq7Dv4jE.
          Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

        In 1969, Jack Dangermond founded Esri, which became the maker of, arguably, the world’s most popular commercial GIS software. Esri’s first commercial GIS, ARC/INFO, was released in 1982, and the simpler ArcView program followed in 1991. Many of today’s most skilled GIS software developers can trace their roots back to this original GIS software.

        Back then, GIS work required expensive software packages installed on personal computers or large mainframe systems. There was no Google Maps; all map data had to be manually loaded into your software. Getting useful data into a GIS usually required extensive file manipulation and expertise in coordinate systems, projections, and geodesy.

        While the government, utility, and resource management sectors used GIS heavily, there was not much consumer or personal use of GIS. Early GIS professionals spent much of their time digitizing paper maps by hand or trying to figure out why the map data loaded into a GIS was not lining up properly with an aerial photo. This may sound familiar to those who have been in the environmental industry for awhile.

        Esri’s ArcView 3.2 for desktop computers (from the 1990s)

        Esri’s ArcView 3.2 for desktop computers (from the 1990s)

        The Google Revolution

        How much has changed since those early days! After the release of OpenStreetMap in 2004, Google Maps and Google Earth in 2005, and Google Street View in 2007, GIS has been on an unstoppable journey—from only being used by dedicated GIS professionals on large computers in specific workplaces, to be accessible to anyone with an internet browser or a smartphone. High-quality map data and images—often the most expensive item in a GIS project in the 1990’s — are now practically free.

        Just think how revolutionary it is that anyone can have instant access to detailed satellite images and road maps of almost anywhere on Earth! Not only can you perform such mundane tasks as finding the fastest route between two cities or locating your favorite coffee shop while on vacation—you can also see live traffic conditions for cities across the globe; view aerial images of countries you have never visited; track waste drums around your facility; and get street level views of exotic places. Back in 1991, such widespread access to free map data would have seemed like something straight out of science fiction.

        Traffic conditions in London, 3:30 pm 10/16/2017, from Google Maps

        Traffic conditions in London, 3:30 pm 10/16/2017, from Google Maps

        South Base Camp, Mount Everest, Google StreetView

        South Base Camp, Mount Everest, Google StreetView

        Mashups in the cloud

        Obviously, the amount of spatial data needed to provide detailed coverage of the entire globe is far too large to be stored on one laptop or phone. Instead, the data is distributed across many servers “in the cloud.” Back in the 1990s, everything for one GIS system (data, processing engine, user interface) needed to be in the same physical place—usually one hard drive or server. Now, thanks to the internet and cloud computing, the data can be separate from the software, creating “distributed” GIS.

        The combination of freely available data with distributed GIS and the power of smart phones has led us to the age of “neogeography”—in which anyone (with some technical knowledge) can contribute to online maps, or host their maps with data relevant to their personal or professional needs. GIS no longer requires expensive software or cartographical expertise; now, even casual users can create maps linking multiple data sources, all in the cloud.

        Google’s MyMaps is an example of a tool for easily making your maps. Maps can range from the playful, such as locations of “Pokemon nests,” to the serious, such as wildfire conditions.

        These online maps can be updated in real time (unlike paper maps) and therefore kept current with actual conditions. Such immediate response is instrumental in emergency management, where conditions can change rapidly, and both first responders and the public need access to the latest data.

        Map showing wildfire and traffic conditions in northern California, 10/16/2017

        Map showing wildfire and traffic conditions in northern California, 10/16/2017

        Furthermore, software programmers have created online GIS tools that let non-coders create their maps. These tools push the boundaries of distributed GIS even further by putting the processing engine in the cloud with the data. Only the user interface runs locally for a given user. During this period of GIS history, it became easy to create “mashups” for viewing different types of disparate data at once, such as natural hazard risks near offices, pizza stores near one’s neighborhood, EPA Superfund sites near one’s home, property lines, flood plains, landslide vulnerability, and wildfire risk.

        Floodplain data for Buncombe County, NC

        Floodplain data for Buncombe County, NC

        Programming GIS with APIs

        Another significant advance in GIS technology is the ability to integrate or include advanced GIS tools and features in other computer programs. Companies such as Google and Esri have provided toolkits (called APIs, or application programming interfaces) that let coders access GIS data and functions inside their programs. While neogeography shows the power of personal maps created by the untrained public, computer programmers can use APIs to create some very sophisticated online GIS tools aimed at specific professionals or the public.

        One example is the publicly-available Intellus application that Locus Technologies developed and hosts for the US Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. It uses an Esri API and distributed GIS to provide access to aerial images and many decades of environmental monitoring data for the Los Alamos, NM area. Users can make maps showing chemical concentrations near their home or workplace, and they can perform powerful spatial searches (e.g., “find all samples taken within one mile of my house in the last year”). The results can be color-coded based on concentration values to identify “hot spots”.

        Map from Intellus showing Tritium concentrations near a specified location

        Map from Intellus showing Tritium concentrations near a specified location

        Another example of more sophisticated forms of analysis is integration of GIS with environmental databases. Many government facilities and private vendors incorporate GIS with online data systems to let public users evaluate all types of information they find relevant.

        For example, contour lines can be generated on a map showing constant values of groundwater elevation, which is useful for determining water flow below ground. With such powerful spatial tools in the cloud, any facility manager or scientist can easily create and share maps that provide insight into data trends and patterns at their site.

        Groundwater contour map

        Groundwater contour map where each line is a 10 ft. interval, from the Locus EIM system

        Other examples include monitoring air emissions at monitoring sites (like US EPA’s AirData Air Quality Monitors, shown below) and actual stream conditions from the USGS (also shown below).

        Screen capture of air quality data from US EPA AirData GIS app

        Screenshot from US EPA AirData Air Quality Monitors interactive GIS mapping platform, showing Long Beach, California


        Screen capture of USGS National Water Information System interactive GIS map tool

        Screen capture of USGS National Water Information System interactive GIS map tool, showing a site in Mountain View, California

        There’s a (map) app for that

        One particularly exciting aspect of GIS today is the ability to use GIS on a smartphone or tablet. The GIS APIs mentioned above usually have versions for mobile devices, as well as for browsers. Programmers have taken advantage of these mobile APIs, along with freely available map data from the cloud, to create apps that seamlessly embed maps into the user experience. By using a smartphone’s ability to pinpoint your current latitude and longitude, these apps can create personalized maps based on your actual location.

        A search in the Apple AppStore for “map” returns thousands of apps with map components. Some of these apps put maps front-and-center for traditional navigation, whether by car (Waze, MapQuest, Google), public transit (New York Subway MTA Map, London Tube Map), or on foot (Runkeeper, Map My Run, AllTrails). Other apps use maps in a supporting role to allow users to find nearby places; for example, banking apps usually have a map to show branches near your current location.

        What’s really exciting are the apps that allow users to enter data themselves via a map interface. For example, HealthMap’s Outbreaks Near Me not only shows reports of disease outbreaks near your location, but it also lets you enter unreported incidents. The GasBuddy app shows the latest gasoline prices and lets you enter in current prices. This “crowdsourcing” feature keeps an app up-to-date by letting its users update the map with the latest conditions as they are happening.

        The Outbreaks Near Me app for phones (left) and the GasBuddy app for tablets (right)

        The Outbreaks Near Me app for phones (left) and the GasBuddy app for tablets (right)

        EHS professionals can further harness the power of GIS using mobile applications.  For example, in the Locus Mobile app for field data collection, users can enter environmental data—such as temperature or pH measurements—from a sampling location, then upload the data back to cloud-based environmental management software for immediate review and analysis. Mobile apps can also support facility compliance audits, track current locations of hazardous waste drums, collect on-scene incident data (complete with photos), and record exact locations for mapping by colleagues back in the office.

        GIS-enabled mobile apps also typically include a map interface for navigating to data collection points and tracking visited locations. Other key features to look for include ad hoc location creation for capturing unplanned data—this lets users create new data collection points “on the fly” simply by clicking on the map.

        Locus Mobile App

        Views of many different mobile app use cases from tracking drums to collecting field data

        A bright future for GIS applications within EHS software

        Where will GIS as a whole go from here? It’s possible that augmented reality, virtual reality, and 3D visualization will continue to expand and become as ubiquitous as the current “2D” maps on browsers and phones. Also, the “internet of things” will surely have a GIS component because every physical “thing” can be tied to a geographical location. Similarly, GIS can play an important role in “big data” by providing the spatial framework for analysis.

        GIS is one of the most effective ways to convey information to a wide range of users, from corporate managers looking at the company’s key metrics to operational personnel looking for incidents across facilities and trying to find trends. It is a highly intuitive data query interface that empowers users to explore the data hidden deep in enterprise EHS databases. The examples presented above are just the tip of the iceberg for the range of possibilities to simplify communication of information and look more broadly across enterprises to identify where real or potential issues lie.

        An EHS software system should have many ways to extract data and information to form insights beyond a few “canned” reports and charts. A spatially-accurate picture can often provide more actionable insight than tables and text. Imagine being able to see spill locations, incident locations, environmental monitoring stations for air quality, wastewater outfalls, central and satellite waste accumulation area locations, and PCB and asbestos equipment and/or storage locations—all visually represented on an actual map of your facility and its surroundings. All these types of maps are invaluable in an enterprise EHS software system and should be a critical item on your checklist when selecting software for your EHS needs.

        Thanks to the GIS Timeline for providing some of the history for this article.

        Locus employee Todd PierceAbout guest blogger— Dr. Todd Pierce, Locus Technologies

        Dr. Pierce manages a team of programmers tasked with development and implementation of Locus’ EIM application, which lets users manage their environmental data in the cloud using Software-as-a-Service technology. Dr. Pierce is also directly responsible for research and development of Locus’ GIS (geographic information systems) and visualization tools for mapping analytical and subsurface data. Dr. Pierce earned his GIS Professional (GISP) certification in 2010.

        [jwplayer mediaid=”16590″]

        Interested in Locus’ GIS solutions?

        Introducing Locus GIS+. All the functionality you love in EIM’s classic Google Maps GIS for environmental management— now integrated with the powerful cartography, interoperability, & smart-mapping features of Esri’s ArcGIS platform!

        Learn more about GIS+


        EPA Looks for Improved Drilling Data

        According to the Energy Information Administration, production of natural gas from shale formations has increased approximately 30 percent from 2006 to 2012. This increase, due to advancements in drilling technologies, has caught the EPA off guard and left it with limited knowledge about the amount of pollutants entering the groundwater, surface water or air.

        This poses an issue because states rely on the EPA’s information when issuing permits or determining if someone breaks a rule, and these decisions are being compromised if they are reliant on non-existent or questionable water quality or air emissions data. This realization is also a bit concerning considering hydraulic fracturing releases chemicals such as methane, the main component of natural gas and also a potent greenhouse gas.

        The EPA has agreed it needs to improve its data, and is working with the appropriate parties to ensure the continued expansion of oil and natural gas drilling is done safely and responsibly. This situation shows that being prepared to handle big data like this is vitally important. Locus’ EIM and ePortal software are Cloud-based platforms for effectively managing air emissions, as well as hydrofracking data of any kind, water, groundwater, SPCC, and compliance information. By managing this information in one, easily accessible, web-based platform it is easier to stay on top of essential data collection, and to make sure your data quality is at its best.

        Tag Archive for: Air Emissions Data

        Locus Technologies Unveils Expansion of its Water SaaS to Produced Water Management for the Oil and Gas Industry

        SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 16, 2024 — Locus Technologies, (Locus), the pioneer in water, Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) compliance and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) software solutions, announces expansion of its water management SaaS platform to include management of produced water within the oil and gas industry. This cutting-edge solution, seamlessly integrated with Locus’ suite of applications, underscores the company’s unwavering commitment to driving sustainable practices while optimizing operational efficiency.

        Locus has engineered a comprehensive application designed specifically for the efficient and sustainable management of produced water. This latest addition to Locus’s suite of water solutions aims to address the complex demands of the oil and gas industry while ensuring compliance, conservation, and operational excellence.

        The new application is seamlessly interoperable with other Locus solutions catering to the oil and gas sector, such as ESG, air emissions, waste management, and water quality management. Locus software empowers organizations to make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and enhance overall efficiency across their operations by streamlining data integration and providing actionable insights.

        Locus’ CEO, Neno Duplan, emphasized the company’s dedication to delivering comprehensive water management solutions while driving advancements in technology for the beneficial reuse of water beyond the realms of the oil and gas, and energy industries. “We remain focused on delivering comprehensive water management solutions to our customers while advancing technologies for the beneficial reuse of water inside and outside of the oil and gas industry, which holds the promise of further improving the sustainability of our customer’s operations,” stated Duplan.

        With a proven track record in providing leading-edge EHS and ESG software solutions, Locus continues to spearhead advancements in compliance, sustainability, and corporate responsibility across diverse industries and geographies.

        About Locus Technologies

        Locus Technologies, the global environmental, social, governance (ESG), Sustainability, and EHS Compliance software leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to be credible with ESG reporting. From 1997 Locus Technologies pioneered enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) for EHS Compliance, water management, and ESG credible reporting. Locus apps and software solutions improve business performance by strengthening risk management and EHS for organizations across industries and government agencies. Organizations ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises, such as Chevron, Sempra, Corteva, DuPont, Chemours, San Jose Water Company, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Port of Seattle, Onto Innovations, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, have selected Locus.

        Locus Technologies’ headquarters is in Mountain View, California.

        For further information regarding Locus Technologies and its commitment to excellence in SaaS solutions, please visit www.locustec.com or email info@locustec.com.

        Foster Farms Selects Locus Technologies EHS/ESG Enterprise SaaS

        Locus EHS/ESG Cloud will streamline Foster Farms EHS Compliance, ESG Reporting, and Water Quality Management.

        MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 2, 2023Locus Technologies, the leading EHS Compliance and ESG software provider, today announced that Foster Farms, a top US provider of fresh, frozen, and prepared poultry products and the leading brand of fresh chicken in the Western U.S., selected Locus’s award-winning enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) to organize and manage their EHS compliance and ESG reporting.

        Foster Farm subscribed to an integrated set of apps offered in the Locus Cloud Platform. Some apps include EHS Compliance Management, ESG and Sustainability, GHG Emission Factor and Calculation Management, Inspections, Configuration Workbench, Air Emissions Management, Storm Water, Wastewater, and well data management and reporting.

        Locus Cloud is the first fully integrated multitenant platform created from the ground up to allow organizations to manage their environmental, energy, water, waste, carbon, air, health and safety, remediation, water quality, and compliance information in one place. The Locus Platform allows companies to configure their own management, tracking, visualization, and reporting through a graphically driven user interface. This feature enables organizations to configure the software to their needs without worrying about the expensive programming outlays usually associated with customization and single-tenant deployments.

        When designing integrated EHS/ESG SaaS, Locus sought to make the complicated workflow and management of environmental data as simple as possible and to make it manageable from a single platform with shared components. The resulting platform offers immense flexibility and endless capabilities with minimal training thanks to the new, intuitive, user-friendly interface design.

        “The accurate tracking and reporting of critical environmental resource usage is a necessary part of our compliance responsibilities, and a major component of our efforts to ensure that we are a sustainable producer. The Locus application software will make a significant contribution to our resource management capabilities,” said Don Hill, Foster Farms Director of Environmental Affairs.

        “We are delighted that Foster Farms recognized the power of the Locus Cloud platform. Businesses do not want to shop for point solutions from different vendors only to be left with the nightmare of integration, security, synchronization, and vendor management. They want one-stop shops and to avoid having to deal with vendors that don’t integrate well with one another or have spotty service and limited support. Locus will provide Foster Farms single platform through which they can accomplish all their environmental and compliance management needs on a single, fully customer-configurable platform,” said Neno Duplan, President, and CEO of Locus. “Keeping the end user’s perspective in mind, we’ve packed the same 26-plus years of domain expertise that Locus has been offering all along into a highly configurable and scalable software platform built from the ground up on the latest web technologies,” remarked Duplan.


        Foster Farms is dedicated to providing families across America with great food. From ready to cook chicken and turkey, to chicken nuggets and corndogs, Foster Farms portfolio of fresh, frozen, and prepared foods, are always welcome whether it’s dinner time or snack time. Since its founding in 1939 Foster Farms has gone on to become one of the largest quality poultry producers in the United States. Headquartered in Livingston, Ca with facilities in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana, the company has nearly 12,000 Team Members, and is committed to building a “culture that nobody wants to walk aways from.”