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Risk Management Research

Research Facilities

Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center, Cincinnati, OH

International Leader. EPA's Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center (AWBERC) is internationally recognized for water research and has become a leader in areas of bioremediation and pollution prevention. Risk Management researchers use the facility for drinking water, water quality, land remediation, pollution control, and sustainability research.

Greening AWBERC. In support of EPA's mission to protect the environment, AWBERC has many "green" features such as green roofs, rain gardens, energy efficient equipment, elimination of the need to use once-through city water, and an enhanced recycling program that includes five different grades of paper; all fluorescent lighting; all petroleum products; all toner cartridges, and more.

Green Energy. EPA is partnering with the General Services Administration and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to purchase green power from Community Energy, Inc. of Wayne, PA. The fuel mix consists of 95% landfill gas and 5% wind power, and greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. The three year power-purchase contract will satisfy 100% of EPA's electricity needs for the three facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio that consume a total of 15.6 million kWh/year.

  • The Biocontaminant Laboratory (located in the AWBERC building) is used to evaluate and analyze biological contaminants. These contaminants can cause poor indoor air quality and trigger allergic reactions, breathing problems, and even lung disease.
  • The Full Containment Facility (adjacent to the AWBERC building) is used to studying highly toxic or hazardous materials research in order to develop cleaner technologies and tools for industrial pollution management.

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Test and Evaluation Facility, Cincinnati, OH

The Test and Evaluation Facility (T&E) supports research on new treatment technologies for water and hazardous waste. On-site chemistry labs, and two water distribution system simulators, allow scientists the flexibility to study drinking water contaminants, biosensors, and small systems. As part of EPA’s Environmental Technology Verification Program, T&E also verifies water security monitoring and treatment technology testing.

Ohio EPA Treatability Exclusion. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, T&E is a permitted treatment, storage, and disposal facility that holds an Ohio EPA Treatability Exclusion. This exclusion allows the facility to conduct treatability studies using quantities of all categories of hazardous waste. This is unmatched by any similar facility in the nation.

USEPA. (2008). "Test and Evaluation Facility (PDF)." (2 pp, 211 KB) EPA Publication No. EPA/600/F-08/004.

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Center Hill Facility, Cincinnati, OH

Researchers at the Center Hill Facility study municipal solid waste, including disposal, residuals management, soil contamination, and risk reduction engineering. The specialized equipment and instrumentation enable researchers to determine and measure the chemical and microbiological characteristics of waste, leachates, soil and sediments, and the form (speciation) and transport characteristics of contaminants in soil and sediment. Center Hill uses research capabilities developed at the Advanced Photon Source of Argonne National Laboratory, which makes Center Hill the focal point for determining the atomic-level form, fate, and transport characteristics of specific metal contaminants.

Greening Center Hill Facility. The Center Hill Facility is part of EPA's large research and administrative campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. To reduce its carbon footprint, Center Hill uses a nighttime setback mode for its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and energy efficient “green” lights in the office and high-bay areas.

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Experimental Stream Facility (ESF), Clermont County, OH

The Experimental Stream Facility (ESF) is one of only a handful of research facilities in the U.S. designed to conduct small stream research. The facility has eight stream mesocosms , which are ¬†experimental enclosures designed to approximate natural conditions, and in which environmental factors can be manipulated. This allows researchers to study how pollutants interact with important characteristics of stream habitat that may or may not change. ESF studies are designed to gain information on both watershed management and the impact of contaminants.

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Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, Ada, OK

The Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center (RSKERC) studys contaminants in soil and groundwater, as well as how to restore ecosystems. Everything in the natural world is connected. An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things that work together.

Ecosystems and Subsurface Research Field Site
The 11-acre field site includes a weather station, computer facility, and several types of wells designed to safeguard our underground supplies of drinking water against contamination by pollutants introduced to the subsurface via injection wells, also know as hydraulic fracturing. RSKERC is available or collaborative R&D.

Greening RSKERC. To reduce its environmental footprint, the Kerr Center became EPA’s first “carbon neutral” laboratory. This means the Center reduces energy use wherever possible and implements carbon offsets to mitigate any remaining greenhouse gas emissions caused by using energy. The result is net zero emissions.

Green Energy. EPA offsets 100 percent of the electricity consumption at the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center with renewable energy certificates (RECs) purchased through the Agency's current blanket green power contract.

USEPA. (2008). "The Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, Ada, Oklahoma (PDF)." (2 pp, 216 KB) EPA Publication No. EPA/600/F-08/003.

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Research Triangle Park, NC

At the EPA Research Triangle Park (RTP) Campus, risk management researchers investigate both natural and man-made sources of emissions, They also research, develop, and demonstrate air pollution prevention and control technologies. The technological products are then used by modelers, appropriate industries (for example, electric utilities), and decision makers. This leads to cleaner indoor environments and reduces emissions from pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Greening RTP. Aligned with EPA's mission to protect the environment, RTP has “green” features such as green roofs, rain gardens, more energy efficient equipment, elimination of the need to use once-through city water, and an enhanced recycling program that includes five different grades of paper; all fluorescent lighting; all petroleum products; all toner cartridges, and more. To reduce the environmental impact of its facilities and operations, RTP monitors and controls energy-consuming aspects of each building, uses building materials that have the least environmental impact, and has incorporated water-efficient fixtures throughout the complex.

Facilities for Air Risk Management Research
Air Pollution Studies, Research Triangle Park, NC
Emissions, such as those from diesel trucks and those found in indoor environments, pose a risk to human health and ecological systems. So the Facilities for Air Pollution Studies use open-path remote sensing equipment, an instrumented heavy-duty diesel truck, and emissions characterization chambers to develop methods for the study of emissions and the problems they cause.
Air House
Indoor air pollution prevention and control are the focus of research at this facility, which is part of the RTP complex. The research includes a variety of projects, such as singling out sources of indoor contaminants, modeling indoor air quality, and evaluating radons. Research results help in decision making; such as, the use of water-based cleaners in schools.
Analytical Chemistry Laboratory: This state-of-the-art facility characterizes collected air particle samples. This facility also works on developing innovative sample analysis techniques. This laboratory contains various state-of-the-art analytical equipment. With this equipment, the local or regional air monitoring stations can track pollution to the responsible sources. This information allows States to plan on how to reduce air pollution in areas and bring them within compliance of air regulations.
Chassis Dynamometer Facility: The facility simulates and tests on-road operation of vehicles, long-haul tractor-trailer rigs and pickup trucks. Different test cycles can be programmed and gaseous emissions can be monitored both as extracted from the tailpipe or after dilution in a volume sampler.
Combustion Analytical Laboratories: Organic and inorganic emissions from combustion and incineration test facilities are characterized.
Firetube Package Boiler: This test facility consists of a commercial 70 HP Scotch marine type boiler as the primary component. The boiler's burner is capable of firing gas or any grade of fuel oil, singly or in combination, and is rated at 0.85 MW (2.9 MM Btu/hr) thermal input.  Samples can be taken at a number of locations in the stack.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Test House: The IAQ test house is an unfurnished, single-story, wood framed house with a central heating and air-conditioning system. The heated floor area of the house is about 120 m2. The indoor temperature and relative humidity (RH) are monitored throughout the house. Air handler (furnace) flows are measured. Outdoor air exchange rates are measured. Meteorological data are obtained from an on-site meteorological tower. Researchers are searching for ways to prevent or lessen indoor air pollution.
Mobile emissions real-time analysis laboratory: This lab is used to study on-road capability includes a fully instrumented tractor trailer. This Diesel Emissions Aerosol Laboratory (DEAL) can be used to evaluate the effects of natural cooling and dilution air pollutants.
Mobile Source Research Facility
This research facility is used for emissions research. In particular, the facility characterizes and performs source profiling of motor vehicle emissions and off-road engine exhaust. A suite of small-engine dynamometers is available to carry out research on small, hand-held engines such as those used in leaf blowers and chain saws. Mobile source research helps to reduce and prevent a wide range of emissions and compounds that are harmful to human health and the environment.
Open Burning Test Facility: The open burning test facility (OBTF) has been used for studies related to open burning of various materials. The OBTF uses a refractory-lined burn pit on a weighing platform, coupled with a high volume air handling system to simulate in-plume measurements taken during open burning events.
Pilot-Scale Multi-Pollutant Control Research Facility: This is a state-of-the-art research facility has a coal fired boiler where combinations of technologies can be evaluated to optimize the control of multi-pollutants such as SO2, NOx, PM, and mercury.

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Edison Environmental Center, Edison, NJ

The Edison Environmental Center (EEC)  develops and evaluates the performance of stormwater management practices. The laboratory building is located on 205 acres of suburban property. Researchers use the facility to study and develop techniques to manage water flow and runoff generated from rainfall in an urban setting. Some of green technologies used are green roofs, swales, and rain gardens. The facility includes greenhouses that allow all-season operation; on-site analysis of common chemical and microbial stressors; a permeable pavement demonstration research site.

Greening EPA. The parking lot is an experiment in permeable surfaces! The lot covers about one acre and provides parking for employees and visitors. The lot slopes so water flows across the driving lanes between the porous sections. Partially buried tanks receive water drained from lined sections of the permeable parking lanes, allowing researchers to measure volume and flow rates, stormwater quality, and the movement of stormwater through the pavement, underlying layers, and into the native soil. Six rain garden cells will help reduce stormwater runoff from non-porous sections of the parking lot and the roof of the adjacent building. This research will help cities: cool more effectively during summer evenings; reduce stormwater flowing to receiving waters; and improve water quality.

Fact sheet: "Design/Construction of a Permeable Pavement Demonstration Site at the Edison Environmental Center." (EPA/600/F-09/038) October 2009 - Abstract

USEPA. (2008). "The Urban Watershed Management Research Facility (PDF)." (2 pp, 216 KB) EPA Publication No. EPA/600/F-08/004.

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Jane Ice, Communication
(513) 569-7311

Debbie Westerman, IT Specialist (Web)
(513) 569-7364

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Risk Management Research: Air and Climate Change Research | Water Research | Ecosystems Restoration Research | Land Research | Technology: Sustainable Technologies Research, Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV), and Technology Assessments

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