Analysis of air quality impacts on Sunland Park, New Mexico by Puerto Anapra, Mexico

Grisel Edith Arizpe, University of Texas at El Paso


The City of Sunland Park is located in Doña Ana County in southern New Mexico. The City has unusual boundaries which border not only with other communities in New Mexico but also the State of Chihuahua, Mexico to the south and the City of El Paso, Texas to the east. This area is considered part of the Paso del Norte Airshed (PdNA), which is comprised also by El Paso County, Texas and Ciudad (Cd.) Juarez, Mexico. Historically, this region has had air quality problems and compliance issues with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).^ Cd. Juarez, in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico is located directly across the Rio Grande River abutting El Paso, Texas and Sunland Park, New Mexico to the north. Recent modeling studies have shown that the City of El Paso could meet the NAAQS if not for its proximity to Cd. Juarez (TCEQ, 2010). The previous statement has brought attention on the air quality impacts to the PdNA by the air pollutant emissions generated in Cd. Juarez, especially the PM10 emissions from unpaved roads.^ This study was designed to conduct air quality modeling for Sunland Park, New Mexico using the innovative CALMET/CALPUFF air modeling software to determine the air quality impacts caused by dust emissions from the unpaved areas across the U.S.-Mexico border in Colonia Puerto Anapra (Anapra) in Cd. Juarez, Mexico. This study utilized meteorological data input files MM5 developed by the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) Regional Modeling Center (RMC) and the Midwest RPO for the State of New Mexico. CALMET input files were acquired from WRAP RMC to support CALMET/CALPUFF modeling for the project area. The CALMET modeling was conducted using the model options as in the MM5 simulations but adapting the model to the study area. CALMET output files were implemented in the CALPUFF modeling to estimate the particulate matter concentrations based on the meteorological conditions as well as wind erosion and unpaved roads emission factors. The EPA's Rapid Assessment of Exposure to Particulate Emissions from Surface Contamination and the AP-42 Chapter 13.2.2 were utilized to develop the site-specific estimates of potential dust emissions factors from Anapra Subvision. The estimated emission factors were inputted in the model with four different receptors in the study area to determine the potential concentrations at these locations. These receptors were strategically located in the model at the same location of existing air quality monitoring stations from the TCEQ and NMED to be able to compare real time data with modeled data. CALPUFF output files were processed implementing CALPOST and CALVIEW software.^ The study showed that, according to the CALMET wind field plot results, southeasterly winds were predominant throughout the year, showing that in the study area, winds flow from Puerto Anapra to Sunland Park the majority of the time. The annual wind rose modeled that 17% of the winds were southeasterly, 12% were east southeasterly, 11% were easterly, 11% were northerly, and 10% were north northwesterly predominantly ranging from 1 to 12 mph. During the winter months, January, February and December, northerly winds were predominantly 16% of the time, followed by southeasterly at 14% and north northwesterly at 12%. In addition, this study determined the time during the day and months that had the highest peak PM10 concentrations. According to the results, high hourly PM10 concentrations were experienced at earlier morning hours from 0:00 hr. to 7:00 hrs. but higher concentrations were recorded during late nights from 17:00 hrs. to 23:00 hrs. Winter months including November, December, January, February and March had turbulent wind patterns and higher concentrations in the year.^ This work also assisted to determine the percent of contribution to air pollution in Sunland Park from Puerto Anapra. Based on the estimated wind erosion and unpaved roads modeled emissions, the Desert View TEOM Station located at the center of Sunland Park, had the highest annual PM10 average concentration of 97 µg/m3. Subsequently, the UTEP CAMS Station had the second highest annual PM10 average concentration of 28 µg/m3 which was approximately 48% of the total annual PM10 average concentration from the real data (58 µg/m3). The Sunland Park TEOM Station had the third highest annual PM10 average concentration of 21.4 µg/m3 which was approximately 28% of the total annual PM10 average concentration from the real data (78 µg/m3). Last, the Santa Teresa TEOM Station had the lowest estimate of 4 µg/m3 when compared to the other stations. Also, it was noticeable that PM10 concentrations varied in a high degree at the different receptors. For instance, Santa Teresa TEOM Station experienced minimal PM10 concentrations, where at Desert View TEOM Station had outstanding concentrations at less than a 10 mile difference. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)^

Subject Area

Engineering, Environmental

Recommended Citation

Arizpe, Grisel Edith, "Analysis of air quality impacts on Sunland Park, New Mexico by Puerto Anapra, Mexico" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1518189.