Overview

The Federal Land Manager Environmental Database (FED) is an online repository of air quality data and metadata sponsored by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. FED has been developed to help states, tribes, federal land managers (FLMs), scientists, planners, and students evaluate air quality and visibility in federally-protected ecosystems using a variety of national and regional air quality datasets.

FED imports and maintains data from over two dozen monitoring networks and is constantly updating these datasets as new data becomes available from the source providers. The FED website offers a variety of online air quality analysis tools and currently has over 1500 registered users from over 100 different countries and hosts thousands of visitors each month. The FED team also develops and maintains the IMPROVE website, the WRAP Technical Support System (TSS), and the Intermountain West Data Warehouse, all of which utilize the foundational database and software architecture developed for FED.

Ongoing development and maintenance of FED is conducted by Colorado State University's Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Visitors to the FED website are encouraged to register and provide comments, questions, and feedback to the FED team regarding all aspects of the website and database. You can leave feedback and comments for the FED team by using the feedback form.

Some FED Facts and Statistics
  • Over 1500 users currently registered
  • Over 500 organizations represented
  • Visited by users from over 100 countries
  • Over 650 million records of air quality data
  • Contains data from over three dozen networks
  • An average of 1K+ database queries per month

The Integrated Database

FED employs an advanced data acquisition and import system to integrate data from several air quality data centers into a single, highly-optimized data warehouse. Ground-based measurements from dozens of monitoring networks, air quality modeling results, and detailed emissions inventories are imported and updated on a regular basis using a generalized, uniform data model and carefully standardized metadata. Names, codes, units, and quality flags from the source datasets are carefully mapped to a unified paradigm, and native formats and organizations are transformed into a common, normalized database schema. This design enables users to explore, merge, and analyze datasets of widely-varying origin in a consistent, unified manner with a common set of tools and web services. This degree of interoperability allows decision-makers to analyze diverse datasets side-by-side and focus on high-level planning strategies without having to contend with the details of data management and manipulation. One of the best ways to access the FED database is by using the Query Wizard.

Air Quality Management and Decision Support

FED users are often asking questions such as “What pollutants are impacting a given area?” and “Where are these pollutants coming from?” States are further mandated to answer the question of “What can be done to reduce these impacts?”, because the EPA's Regional Haze Rule requires states and tribes to develop implementation plans for reducing emissions and demonstrating reasonable progress towards doing so, and these plans must provide for an improvement during the 20% worst visibility days while also ensuring no degradation during the 20% best visibility days.

To accomplish this, users must identify the pollutants, quantify their amounts, and determine the sources of anthropogenic emissions that contribute to this pollution on both the “best” and the “worst” visibility days in a given area. They must then determine available control measures for each source and evaluate these measures on the basis of costs, time, energy and environmental impacts, and the remaining life of the source. Planners then employ these analyses to make decisions about what controls to implement, to estimate projected improvements, and to track their progress in reaching these goals. The resulting decisions have obvious ecological impacts, but can also have important political and economic impacts in the sense that deciding which sources to control is a politically-significant issue and the process of controlling emissions and tracking progress costs money and takes time.