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Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) Accountability Assessment: An Integrated Model-Measurement Approach to Assess Synoptic-Scale Transport of Sulfate Aerosols

Project Leads and Affiliations:

Fred Dimmick, EPA/Office of Research and Development
Rich Scheffe and Alan Rush, EPA/Office of Air and Radiation

Key Collaborators:

Ray Hoff and the "Three-Dimensional Air Quality System (3D-AQS)" team
Tad Aburn, Maryland Department of Environment
Bill Gillespie and Susan Weirman, MARAMA
Alice Gilliland, AMD/EPA-NOAA
Shobha Kondragunta, NOAA/NESDIS
Alan Rush, EPA/Office of Air and Radiation
Jim Szykman, EPA/Office of Research and Development
Brad Pierce and Ducan Fairlie, NASA Langley Research Center

Project Abstract Written: October 2005

Project Timeframe: 2006 - 2008

Project Summary:

Air quality has traditionally been monitored at the surface through ground-based monitors. The recently promulgated Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) is expected to reduce transport of air pollutants, particularly sulfate fine particles, addressing non-attainments areas in the Eastern US. The CAIR highlights the need for decision makers to have an integrated air quality observational and modeling system to understand sulfate fine particles as they move in multiple dimensions, both spatially and temporally. We need "air transport-related" accountability metrics.

This project will demonstrate how an integrated three-dimensional (3-D) monitoring network can be used in concert with CMAQ model results to enhance the understanding of air pollution transport and assist in developing regulatory "air transport-related" accountability metrics. The 3-D monitoring network consists of EPA's ground-based particle monitoring data, the NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite sensor data, NOAA's GOES satellite data, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's (UMBC) LIDAR system. We propose to combine this 3-D monitoring network with CMAQ modeling results using a trajectory model and multi-variate spatial analysis techniques to quantify sulfate contributions from source areas.

Output would be set a baseline for regional sulfate particle transport and improved ability to observe differences from the baseline over time; providing the ability to EPA and Mid-Atlantic States to quantify – as sensitively as possible - the effects of upwind reductions of sulfate emissions on regional transport. The project is a prototype project to help implement recent NRC recommendations to assess the results of EPA regulations.

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