News | Aug 20, 2019

US Army Corps of Engineers invents environmental impacts modeling app for emission regulations

Predicts and compares the environmental impact of toxins and the acceptable emissions levels based on known environmental data

"The EPA and other environmental regulatory agencies face significant problems in obtaining data to develop consistent emissions standards." - U.S. Patent 10,337,587

Power plant photo via Pixabay

The Army Corps of Engineers was granted U.S. Patent 10,337,587 on Tuesday for a software application that models and predicts the species-level impact of pollutants.

Dr. Mark Chappell from the Corps’ Environmental Laboratory at the Engineer, Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi, invented the modeling system to help the EPA and other regulators develop reasonable, consistent, and data-driven emission standards for pollutants.

“The EPA and other environmental regulatory agencies face significant problems in obtaining data to develop consistent emissions standards,” according to the Army’s patent, which can be downloaded below.

“First, it is particularly difficult to obtain species impact data for contaminants introduced into their environment. Accordingly, the EPA and other government agencies extensively use mathematical modeling in the absence of field data to determine assumed species impact rates,” the document states.

And the regulators would need to vast sums of money to test all emissions, forcing them to rely on data from studies performed by regulated industries.

Plus, environmental models are not designed to efficiently predict concentrations that will produce an approximately equivalent impact. Comparative concentration levels are critical for establishing uniform regulations as to the amount and rate at which pollutants can be emitted into environments.

With the patent issued, the Army Corps of Engineers can license the application to companies that would make, use, or sell it to local government customers or private interests.

Quinton King, senior technology manager at TechLink, is in communication with the Army regarding the software and can help companies navigate the patent licensing process.

“The Corps has produced valuable software in the past that we’ve helped companies license and we’re ready to do so again,” King said, referencing the Builder® Sustainment Management System created by the Corps’ Construction Engineering Research Laboratory.


Licensing-related inquiries can be sent to Quinton King at quinton.king@montana.edu or by telephone at 406-994-7795.