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Research Areas

EPA Goal 1: Clean Air and Climate Change

Science to Protect the Air We Breathe

We are a problem-solving organization. We identify and characterize the sources of air pollutants in our communities and seek to develop and apply approaches and technologies to reduce the emissions of those pollutants. Our researchers characterize emissions from major air pollution sources such as power plants and from smaller sources (e.g., incinerators, materials used indoors) that can lead to local exposures to pollutants; develop and demonstrate techniques to prevent or control emissions from these sources; evaluate the environmental impacts of widespread use of different energy and pollution control technologies, and verify technology performance.

Our work fits within the broader ORD approach to air research that is working to link emission sources to health outcomes. This approach focuses our work to provide the scientific and technical information needed to to effectively manage air quality and reduce the effects of air pollutants. Because of our collaborative efforts with the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory and the National Exposure Research Laboratory, both located at our North Carolina campus, our research is part of one of the most comprehensive programs in air pollution research in the country.

We also conduct research to evaluate the wide range of technologies that are designed to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) responsible for climate change. The information we develop is designed to provide timely and useful information and decision-support tools to policy makers and resource managers to help them make informed decisions about the technologies and practices that are needed to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to a changing climate.

Our EPA researchers work closely with trade and professional organizations, industry, other government agencies, and the academic community. The Risk Management Laboratory concentrates its research efforts on four main problem areas:

Climate Change / Technology Assessment
The Air Pollution & Prevention Control research develops data and modeling tools to evaluate scenarios of future energy and greenhouse gas reduction technologies and the changes in costs, emissions, and energy consumption that may occur as these technologies are used on a national scale. Assessments of emerging energy and GHG mitigation technologies evaluate their performance, availability, applicability, environmental impact, and cost to better understand the ability of these technologies to be put into commercial use. To learn more about our current research
Source / Emissions Characterization
We provide emissions information to a range of national, regional, state and or local agencies to improve inventories of air pollutants, including particulate matter, organic compounds, and hazardous air pollutants from mobile, area, and stationary sources. We develop methods for quantifying emissions from those sources that are particularly difficult to measure, such as landfills and fugitive industrial emissions. To learn more about our current research
Combustion / Emissions Control
Evaluates point sources such as power plants and small industry for combustion sources and emissions control. Along with measuring output from the combustion sources we also provide information on cost effective ways to reduce emissions from a variety of sources and investigate advanced technologies to control combustion products such as particles. To learn more about our current research
Indoor Air Quality
Improves the techniques used to measure and model emissions of indoor air chemical contaminants present in free standing structures. Dedicated to investigating various approaches to eliminating mold problems in residence and office buildings. To learn more about our current research



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