The National Air Quality Site-Assessment Tool (NAQSAT)

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The National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) has been developed for the voluntary use of livestock producers and their advisors or consultants. It is intended to provide assistance to livestock and poultry producers in determining the areas in their operations where there are opportunities to make changes that result in reduced air emissions. Air emissions research from livestock production systems is increasing every year. NAQSAT is based on the most accurate, credible data currently available regarding mitigation strategies for air emissions of ammonia, methane, volatile organic compounds, hydrogen sulfide, particulates, and odor.

From the NAQSAT home page users may watch a video explaining the tool, read an overview, study the user manual or select a species to start using the program.


The National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) was developed for livestock producers who are interested in investigating opportunities to reduce air emissions from their livestock operation. The online tool is designed to provide farmers and their advisors air emissions information explicitly for their farm in a confidential setting. The tool may be run from any computer with internet access. All information entered into NAQSAT and the corresponding results remain confidential.

What Did We Do?

NAQSAT considers the air emissions from eight management categories; animal housing, feed and water, manure collection and transfer, manure storage, land application, mortality management, public perception and on-farm roads.

On the NAQSAT Effectiveness Results page the green area indicates the effectiveness of current management practices, the white area indicates the opportunity for improvement. At the end of each session users are encouraged to select “Print My Report” to receive a paper copy of all inputs that had been entered and a copy of the Effectiveness Results page for their records. 

Users of the tool are asked a series of questions under each of the eight management categories. Based on the responses to previously answered questions the program determines what additional questions need to be answered such that only questions pertaining to the operation currently being evaluated are asked. Pop-up pictures assist the user in determining the relative rating to select when questions require a visual evaluation of the existing practices.

NAQSAT addresses seven emissions of concern; odor, particulate matter (dust), ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methane (CH4), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrous oxide (N2O) under each of the eight management categories. Within the results page the green area in each rectangle indicates the effectiveness of current management practices, the white area indicates the opportunity for improvement.

NAQSAT allows users to save and run different scenarios providing the opportunity to compare the results of implementing new management practices.

It is easy to save NAQSAT sessions and return at a later date to make adjustments or consider additional alternatives. Each “saved” user session of NAQSAT is stored under its own URL available only to the person or persons with access to that URL. Individual URLs remain available for a minimum of 30 days before they are removed from the host computer.

The tool’s results page does not provide emissions data and/or regulatory guidance. It does identify opportunities for reducing air emissions and the ability to evaluate which practices might have the most impact. NAQSAT was developed for voluntary and educational use. The tool is designed to be used by livestock and poultry producers, however, the results may be more valuable when NAQSAT is used in cooperation with agency personnel or private consultants that can provide follow-up with suggestions for mitigation practices.

What Have We Learned?

NAQSAT has been used by members of the tool’s development committee to address odor conflicts in Colorado and in Michigan. In each case the tool confirmed the farm management teams were using acceptable management practices to limit odors from the livestock operation. In both states the local and state agencies involved in the conflict resolution were appreciative of the information provided by the tool.


Gerald May, Educator, Michigan State University Extension,

Additional Information

The NAQSAT on-line tool is currently available at:  It is available at no cost from its host website (it does not download onto your computer). To assist first time users an overview of the tool, an informative video and a user’s manual are available on the NAQSAT home page.

Archived webinars:


Are there any organizations or individuals (besides the authors) that should be acknowledged?

Development of NAQSAT was partially funded by the USDA – NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant program. Over twenty partner organizations and universities contributed to the development of NAQSAT.

Partner universities:  Partner organizations:
Colorado State University C.E. Meadows Endowment
Iowa State University Colorado Livestock Association
Michigan State University Iowa Turkey Federation
Oregon State University Iowa Pork Producers
Penn State University Iowa Pork Industry Center
Purdue University Iowa State Univ. Experiment Station
Texas A&M University Michigan Milk Producers Association
University of California, Davis Michigan Pork Producers Association
University of Georgia Michigan State Univ. Extension
University of Maryland National Pork Board
University of Minnesota Nebraska Environmental Trust
University of Nebraska Western United Dairymen

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2013. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Denver, CO. April 1-5, 2013. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.