The mining region of the Cesar Department, Colombia, is made up of 6 mining companies with an approximate coal production of ∼3.5×107 tonnes/year through open cut exploitation. The region has an air quality monitoring network that reports readings exceeding the standard for the daily and annual concentration of PST and PM10. In order to orient the efforts of the decontamination program that has been implemented in the region, the environmental authority needs tools to model the PST and PM10 dispersion. Initially a unified PST and PM10 emission inventory methodology was developed and the topographic and meteorological information available for the region was collected. The dispersion of particled material was then modeled in ISC and AERMOD with meteorological data collected by 3 local stations during 2008. The results obtained were contrasted against the values measured by the air quality monitoring network that is operating in the region. Correlation coefficients were obtained exceeding 0.7, which is acceptable considering the high degree of uncertainty in emission inventory data. Based on the modeling results, the regions were delimited that, according to the local laws, correspond to areas with high, medium and moderate pollution levels. Finally, new actions were presented that make it possible to control PST and PM10 pollution in the mining region.

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