Atmospheric dispersion models are critical tools for informing emergency management decisions when an uncontrolled chemical release occurs with little or no warning.
Atmospheric models are graphic representations of pollutant dispersion after a release from a source or multiple sources (1). These models have been used for decades to monitor and regulate reportable quantities of air pollutants from private and government organizations. However, they also provide valuable information to impacted communities when an uncontrolled chemical release occurs, either from a fixed or mobile source, with little or no warning. This article summarizes the most commonly used atmospheric models in the U.S., as well as the information that can be derived from these models to inform critical emergency management decisions...
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