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Risk Management Research

Tools and Technology

 
Models

Air

Integrated Air Pollution Control System (IAPCS) Cost Model:  The IAPCS model estimates costs for implementing various air pollution control technologies for coal-fired power plants. The IAPCS model is intended for use by pollution control regulators, architecture and engineering companies, utility companies, public utility commissions, and legislators.

Economics and Performance Modeling: These economic and performance evaluation models estimate costs for air pollution prevention and control strategies. The models are intended for use by decision makers looking for objective, authoritative information on the cost-effectiveness of environmental technologies and risk management methods.

Mobile Source Ozone Precursor Emissions Characterization and Modeling
Mobile Emissions Assessment System for Urban and Regional Evaluation (MEASURE)
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 This model characterizes mobile source emissions. This model estimates emissions for specific vehicle and engine operating modes (e.g., engine starts, acceleration, deceleration, and idling) so that more accurate information about actual on-road emissions can be obtained.

Highway Vehicle Particulate Emission Modeling Software – PART5:  This model estimates particulate emissions from highway vehicles. The model analyzes the pollution effect of in-use various fueled vehicles. The model is appropriate for comparative analyses, such as determining the potential impact of one traffic control measure versus another.

Indoor Air Quality Modeling:  This is an indoor air quality model for analyzing the effect of emissions sources, sinks, ventilation, and air cleaners on indoor air quality.

RISK Model:  This model is designed to calculate individual exposure to indoor air pollutants from emissions sources. The model can calculate exposure due to individual (as opposed to population) activity patterns and source use. It can also determine risk from the calculated exposure to indoor air pollution.

IAQX (Indoor Air Quality and Inhalation Exposure Model): This model performs conventional indoor air quality simulations, computes inhalation exposure, and estimates the adequate ventilation rate for improving indoor air quality.

Cost Analysis of Indoor Air Control Techniques
Energy Costs of Increased Ventilation in Humid Climates (DOE-2 Modeling):
 Energy Costs of Increased Ventilation in Humid Climates: This building energy methodology is used to improve indoor air quality. It assesses the energy costs of indoor air quality control through increased ventilation in a warm, humid climate (a climate that makes improving indoor air quality particularly challenging).

Cost Analysis of Indoor Air Control Techniques
Cost Analysis of Air Cleaners for Removing VOCs From Indoor Air
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 This model compares the cost of using granular activated carbon with the cost of using photocatalytic oxidation for treating volatile organic compounds in indoor air.

Natural and Specialized Ambient Emissions and Modeling: Emissions from natural sources are important contributors to many environmental problems. Our researchers have the capability to conduct on-site emission testing of natural sources such as forests and other vegetative species at both the ground and canopy levels. These include biogenic VOCs with current emphasis placed on fast reacting species and their role in aerosol formation. In addition the techniques being developed and utilized address sources of ammonia and its fate in the biosphere. Biomass burning, such as in prescribed burns in forests, are a major activity. In each area the work includes utilizing the data to enhance databases and to develop and/or improve models. This work has been extended to trans-boundary pollutants and has involved testing campaigns in other countries (e.g., Brazil and China).

Ecosystems

Center for Subsurface Modeling Support (CSMoS):  CSMoS provides modeling software used to perform site characterization and ground water flow and transport simulations. The models are also used for selecting groundwater remediation options at Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Superfund sites, and for determining wellhead protection areas.

Sustainability

PARIS III (Program for Assisting the Replacement of Industrial Solvents):  This software addresses industrial solvents whose continued use raises concern about worker health and toxics in the environment. This tool identifies pure chemicals or designs chemical mixtures that can serve as alternatives to more hazardous substances currently in use.

CAPE-OPEN (Computer-Aided Process Engineering):  Chemical process simulation is a design tool that has long been used to determine the best chemical process options for the metal finishing industry. This program can be easily applied to other chemical process industries.

TEST (Toxicity Estimation Software Tool): TEST allows users to estimate toxicological and physical properties of a chemical from its molecular structure.

TRACI (Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other environmental Impacts):  TRACI is a tool for comprehensive life cycle impact assessment, sustainability metrics, industrial ecology, process design, and pollution prevention.

Water

EPANET:  EPANET is software that models water distribution piping systems. It performs extended period simulations of the hydraulic and water quality behavior within pressurized pipe networks. EPANET was developed to help water utilities maintain and improve the quality of water delivered to consumers through distribution systems. It can be used to design sampling programs, study disinfectant loss and by-product formation, conduct system vulnerability and consumer exposure assessments, and to improve a system’s hydraulic performance.

Groundwater Models: Center for Subsurface Modeling Support (CSMoS) provides modeling software that perform site characterization and ground water flow and transport simulations. The models are also used for selecting ground water remediation options at Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) sites, for studying Superfund-related issues, and for determining wellhead protection areas.

Storm Water Management Model (SWMM): SWMM is a general purpose urban study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water and conveyance system hydraulics software. EPA has extended SWMM to model the performance of specific types of low impact development (LID) controls, such as porous pavement, rain gardens, rain barrels, and vegetative swales. The model allows engineers and planners to accurately represent any combination of LID controls within a study area to determine their effectiveness in managing stormwater and combined sewer overflows.

Sanitary Sewer Overflow Analysis and Planning (SSOAP) Toolbox: The SSOAP toolbox is used for measuring rainfall infiltration and inflow and capacity analysis of sanitary sewer systems. The toolbox is currently interfaced with EPA's Storm Water Management Model Version 5.

Subsurface Models: Modeling software used to perform site characterization and ground water flow and transport simulations. The models are also used for selecting groundwater remediation options at Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Superfund sites, and for determining wellhead protection areas.

System for Urban Stormwater Treatment and Analysis Integration (SUSTAIN) Model:  SUSTAIN is a decision support system to develop, evaluate, and select optimal best management practices combinations at various watershed levels based on cost and effectiveness. It was developed to assist stormwater management professionals in developing plans to protect source waters and meet water quality goals.

 

Methods

Air

Cost Analysis of Indoor Air Control Techniques: used by indoor air quality (IAQ) diagnosticians, architects/engineers, building owners/operators, and the scientific community, for preliminary comparison of the cost-effectiveness of alternative IAQ control measures for any given commercial or institutional building. Such a preliminary analysis could aid the user in initial decision-making prior to retaining experts (such as HVAC engineers and building modelers) who could conduct a rigorous evaluation.

Methodology for Cost-Effective Selection of IAQ Control Options: can be used by indoor air quality (IAQ) diagnosticians, architects/engineers, building owners/operators, and the scientific community, for preliminary comparison of the cost-effectiveness of alternative IAQ control measures for any given commercial or institutional building. Such a preliminary analysis could aid the user in initial decision-making prior to retaining experts (such as HVAC engineers and building modelers) who could conduct a rigorous evaluation).

Expertise in Life Cycle Analysis: provides a standard approach for evaluating the lifecycle environmental trade-offs and full costs of solid waste management. The tool includes waste management activities of collection transportation, material recovery facilities, transfer stations, composting, remanufacturing (of recovered materials), land filling, and combustion. The MSW-DST allows communities to find sustainable solutions to minimize environmental burdens and maximize resource conservation and recovery. A web-accessible version is under development.

Sustainability

Computer-Aided Chemical Process Design Methodologies for Pollution Reduction: This method is used to develop computer optimization and simulations for the design of economical chemical manufacturing processes. These computer tools help to minimize the potential adverse effects of pollution while keeping capital and operating costs from increasing.

Chemical Process Simulation for Waste Reduction (WAR Algorithm): These methodologies help reduce the adverse effects of chemical waste on the environment while minimizing the cost of chemical processing. The goal is to minimize the potential environmental impact for a process instead of minimizing the amount of waste generated by a process. Users can emphasize or de-emphasize different hazards as needed for particular applications. For example, an operation in an area suffering from smog may emphasize air pollution effects, while an operation where workers are routinely exposed to chemicals may emphasize human health effects.

LCAccess: This was designed for practitioners, policy developers, environmental managers, product designers, or other decision makers to better understand the human health and environmental impacts associated with products, processes or activities, and to identify possible improvements across all of the life cycle stages of a product, process, or activity. LCA methods have been standardized as part of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Databases

Air

Traceability Protocol for Assay and Certification of Gaseous Calibration Standards: Used to adjust air pollution tools for consistent and reliable monitoring according to NIST standards.

Optimized Noise-Reduction Algorithm (ONA) for the Aethalometer: ONA is a data post-processing tool to reduce noise in real-time Aethalometer black carbon data through variable time averaging of the data. This is a research tool that does not imply EPA endorsement of a commercial product nor a quality review of black carbon data.

MARKAL Technology Database: Two databases have been developed to characterize the evolution of the energy system over a 50 year time horizon in 5 year increments. EPANMD encompasses the entire US as one region. EPAUS9r disaggregates the national database information into the nine Census Divisions. The databases are recalibrated every 2 years to be consistent with the latest AEO report. These databases are used for integrated technology assessments, “what-if” scenarios, and other systems analysis methodologies to investigate potential greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. Such assessments could help inform decision makers on varied issues such as global change, energy, and sustainable resources.

SPECIATE Database: SPECIATE is the EPA's repository of total organic compound (TOC) and particulate matter (PM) speciation profiles of air pollution sources. Among the many uses of speciation data, these source profiles are used to:

  1. create speciated emissions inventories for regional haze, particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone (O3) air quality modeling;
  2. estimate hazardous and toxic air pollutant emissions from total PM and TOC primary emissions;
  3. provide input to chemical mass balance (CMB) receptor models; and,
  4. verify profiles derived from ambient measurements using multivariate receptor models (e.g., factor analysis and positive matrix factorization).

Ecosystems

Inventory of Ecological Restoration Projects Within the Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessment Region: This inventory is a central repository of restoration project information specific to the mid-Atlantic region. The inventory includes individual restoration projects conducted in both water and land environments by federal, state, and local government entities, and nongovernment organizations. Each project listing consists of a description of the restoration site, the problem being addressed, the goals of the project, critical ecosystem and environmental factors, technical approaches, costs, monitoring activities, and a contact for more detailed information. The database is intended for researchers, restoration practitioners, environmental resource managers, policy makers, consultants, and communities in the mid-Atlantic area.

Sustainability

Database of Sustainability Indicators and Indices (DOSII): This tool provides a searchable database for selecting indicators that are appropriate for various topics and implementation scales (e.g., national, regional and community). The database includes measures for evaluating the sustainability of programs, projects and activities related to air, water, energy, products, communities, human health risks and national security.

Water

Stormwater Calculator (SWC): is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site – anywhere in the United States – based on local soil conditions, land cover and historic rainfall records.

Drinking Water Treatability Database (TDB): TDBB presents referenced information on the control of contaminants in drinking water. It allows drinking water utilities, first responders to spills or emergencies, treatment process designers, research organizations, academicians, regulators, and others to access referenced information gathered from thousands of literature sources and assembled on one site.

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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