Lakes Environmental Newsletter
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Monthly Newsletter - May 2021 Edition

What a Cybersecurity Breach Will Cost You in 2021

Global experts predict that cybersecurity breaches will cost the world $10.5 TRILLION annually by 2025.

On average, the cost of a single data breach has reached $200,000. This means that a mere “average” cybersecurity attack could potentially put a company out of business. In fact, sixty percent of small companies go out of business within six months of an attack.

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If you’re a small-to-medium business, recovering from a cyber attack will cost you roughly $13,000-$38,000. And this does not account for lawsuits and damage to your company’s reputation. Small businesses have, unfortunately, also become more common targets of cyber attacks, accounting for a whopping 43%-47% of cyber crimes.

If you are an enterprise level company, the cost to recover from a cyber attack can exceed $1M.

How can I defend myself against a Cyber Attack?

The best way to defend yourself against attack is through prevention.

Going after cyber criminals after a breach has occurred is a lot like trying to un-spill milk or un-tell a secret. Even if you do manage to track down and make the criminals pay back whatever monetary value the breach cost you, the proprietary and highly sensitive information that was leaked can never be taken back.

The breach can result in ruined reputations, possible lawsuits against your company, and the loss of your competitive edge. For most companies, this kind of damage cannot be mitigated, adding to the growing number of failed businesses.

As mentioned, prevention is the most important step your company can take, and the first step must be to secure all your business communications including video conferencing, webinars, messaging, and file sharing.

To learn more about available solutions read the full article here.

To sign up for a free trial of our recommended secure business communication platform, click here.

US EPA Announces Updates to AERMOD Modeling System

On May 11, 2021, the US EPA announced revisions to the AERMOD air dispersion model, AERMET – the AERMOD system meteorological data preprocessor – and AERSCREEN. The updated model executables have been published on the SCRAM website.

A full list of changes for each model can be found on the AERMOD, AERMET, and AERSCREEN web pages. Significant changes include:

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  • New non-default model options (ALPHA) including:
    • 2 new NO2 conversion methods (Generic Reaction Set Method & Travel Time Reaction Method)
    • A&WMA downwash adjustments
    • Low wind modifications
  • Addition of a second barrier with the RLINEXT source type and speed improvements to the RLINE/RLINEXT source algorithms
  • Option to ignore site-specific turbulence values from the Profile (*.PFL) met file
  • New grouping function for buoyant line sources
  • Bug fixes to all 3 models, and more!

Lakes Environmental's team is hard at work implementing updates to AERMOD View, AERMET View, the AERMOD parallel version (AERMOD MPI), and AERSCREEN View to address the changes incorporated into Model Version 21112. Be on the lookout for emails from Lakes Environmental announcing the new AERMOD View & AERSCREEN View releases upon their availability.

If your copy of AERMOD View is no longer in maintenance, please contact our sales team at for pricing to update your software and take advantage of the many new improvements.

Online AERMOD Course – Jun 29-30, 2021 – Only 2 Spots Left!

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Spots are already filling fast for our next 2-day AERMOD course taking place on June 29 and 30, 2021 from 8:30am to 5:00pm (Central Time).

Register today!


AERMOD (Jun 29-30, 2021)



Just Announced – New Online AERMOD and CALPUFF Courses!

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We’re pleased to announce the following upcoming Online AERMOD and CALPUFF Air Dispersion Modeling Courses. Join us for world class virtual training from the safety of your own home or office with our senior level air quality experts!

Register and pay today before space is gone!

AERMOD: Aug 10-11, 2021

AERMOD: Sep 21-22, 2021

CALPUFF: Sep 28-29, 2021

Online Registration is available now. Our online courses sell out quickly! We recommend registering and making payment as soon as possible to secure your spot.

A&WMA Annual Conference and Exhibition

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The Annual Air & Waste Management Conference and Exhibition will again be held in a fully virtual and interactive format to ensure the safety of attendees, volunteers, and employees. This event will take place from June 14-17, 2021. Lakes Environmental is proud to be both a sponsor and exhibitor of the conference.

Be sure to drop by our virtual booth to speak with our friendly and knowledgeable staff! Visit the conference website for regular updates as we lead up to the virtual event kick-off on June 14, 2021.

Lakes Environmental Closed for Victoria Day Holiday

Lakes Environmental's Waterloo office will be closed on Monday, May 24, 2021 to observe the Victoria Day holiday. Our US Dallas support office will remain open on this day. If you have any needs during that time, please e-mail us at and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.


2021 Course Schedule

Jun 29-30, 2021
Register →

Sep 21-22, 2021
Register →

Aug 10-11, 2021
Register →

Sep 28-29, 2021
Register →

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Dispersion Options in AERMOD

The AERMOD modeling system has a variety of settings and options which can be employed in many ways. This includes options which have been pre-approved for use in regulatory applications and those which are meant for testing or may require additional approval in a regulatory context. This tip will review the differences between these options and include examples of each one.

Regulatory Default Mode (CO MODELOPT DFAULT)

The model contains a set of Regulatory Default options – employed via the Control Pathway as the MODELOPT DFAULT keyword. These options are pre-defined and approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) for regulatory applications of the model. Per Section A.1.a.(2) of the Guideline on Air Quality Models (Appendix W to 40 CFR Part 51), this includes:

  • Sequential meteorological data processed with regulatory options in AERMET
  • Use of terrain elevation data from preferred data sources processed through AERMAP
  • Stack-tip downwash for point sources
  • No pollutant half-life or decay options except for urban SO2
  • Not using screening mode

Source types for regulatory default mode include point, area, volume, line, pit, and buoyant line. This mode can be employed to measure deposition fluxes using the Method 1 particle deposition algorithm.

In AERMOD View, this mode is enabled by selecting the “Default” radio button on the Control Pathway’s Dispersion Options.

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Non-Default Mode

Non-default options are those settings which do not have prior approval for use in regulatory applications. For example, default mode assumes use of terrain elevation data so modeling with flat terrain (MODELOPT FLAT) would require approval before it could be used in a regulatory context. Modelers should always consult with the reviewing authority over a project to discuss use of non-default options.

Some non-default options are separated into additional categories: Alpha and Beta. These are developmental options under consideration for potential regulatory use in the future. Their inclusion in the model allows users to test them and provide feedback to EPA developers on their behavior.

The type of option depicts the level of review applied to the option:

  • Alpha options are “experimental”
  • Beta options have undergone scientific peer review with testing databases available. Further testing is desired before the option is formally promulgated as a regulatory option.

The figure below depicts a possible progression illustrating how a new model options can become regulatory. This is only one example, and there is no requirement that an option must progress in this way to become regulatory. Alpha options could be promulgated as regulatory with sufficient testing, and new options may be introduced immediately as Beta without any Alpha designation first.

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EPA Figure Describing Potential Process for Model Option Progression

As of the new AERMOD 21112 model release, the only Beta option is the RLINE source type. Alpha options in 21112 include:

  • All LOW_WIND options
  • Downwash enhancements (AWMADWNW & ORD_DWNW)
  • RLINEXT source type with the depression (RDEPRESS) & barrier (RBARRIER) effects
  • Urban dispersion for RLINE & RLINEXT sources
  • Gaseous & Method 2 particle deposition
  • NO2 conversion routines GSRM & TTRM

To ensure all model options are employed correctly, AERMOD View’s Details panel informs users of potential errors in model setup. If a user incorrectly sets a Non-Default option while still in Default mode, the Details will inform the user of the mistake so that it can be corrected.

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The EPA publishes a webpage which describes their current development activities at the AERMOD Modeling System Development site. Users can learn more about EPA’s active development efforts there.



Climate Change and the 1991-2020 U.S. Climate Normals

May 3, 2021 - As soon as the 2021 New Year’s celebrations were over, the calls and questions started coming in from weather watchers: When will NOAA release the new U.S. Climate Normals? The Normals are 30-year averages of key climate observations made at weather stations and corrected for bad or missing values and station changes over time.

Read more →

Study Brings Sharper Focus to Warm Arctic Seawater

April 30, 2021- A new study provides the first high-resolution observations of warm, northbound water sliding beneath the surface of the cold Beaufort Sea. The research, published in Nature Communications, adds to evidence that polar ice may be melting faster than models predict.

Read more →

Additional Environmental News

Visit the Environmental News Network (ENN), the most dependable online environmental news source!



2021 Conference Schedule

Air & Waste Management Association’s 114th Annual Conference & Exhibition
June 14-17, 2021 | Virtual Event

Learn more →


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