Investigation of the AP-42 Sampling Method

Document Type



The AP-42 method has been recommended by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency to collect dust emission data. According to this method, the number of sampling sites needs to be determined first. At these sites, the dust will be collected based on plots drawn on the road surface. Apparently, there has been no systematic rule to follow to determine the number of sampling sites. In addition, it is not known whether the required number of plots and their sizes are validated based on real data. Mobile sampling technology can collect dust emission data at very close space intervals, which to some extent can be viewed as being close to actual dust emission data continuously distributed over roadway segments. With such data available, this study investigated the number of sampling sites and the number of plots and their sizes based on the optimal allocation sampling method and the Monte Carlo simulation method. The results from the optimal allocation method indicated that most of the sampling sites should be drawn from the local roads because the variance of emission and proportion of road segments of this roadway classification are significantly bigger than other roadway classifications. This observation may lead to the application of other cost-effective sampling approaches. The results from the Monte Carlo simulation method imply that clear patterns of improved estimation of emission factors versus plot number and size can be observed only for three roadway classifications, not for other classifications. This result indicates that the AP-42 method may not be applicable to some roadway classifications, and thus different data collection methods such as the mobile sampling technology may be necessary.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering | Environmental Engineering


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