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2012 EPA Research Progress Report

Air, Climate, and Energy

American communities face health and environmental challenges from air pollution and the growing effects of climate change, both of which are intricately linked to the choices we make about energy production and use.

Improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and developing strategies to help communities and individuals address climate change are central to EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment.

EPA’s Air, Climate, and Energy research program examines the interplay among air pollution, climate change, and energy use and production to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for improving air quality and addressing global climate change. EPA research efforts in that regard support policies with far-reaching health benefits across the nation.

Research Highlights

This section highlights a few of the research results EPA researchers and their partners have achieved in 2012 in the areas of air, climate, and energy.

Protecting Cardiovascular Health from Air Pollution

EPA scientists and grantees are making important new discoveries about the links between air pollution and cardiovascular health—part of the Agency's commitment to protecting human health.

New Technology to Improve Local Air Quality Monitoring, Reduce Costs

In 2012, EPA scientists and engineers continued to advance the use and development of innovative technologies for researching, monitoring, and managing air pollution.

Sparking Innovation for Clean Air

In addition to advancing its own innovative use of air monitoring technologies, EPA is mining the collective efforts of inventors, software and application ("app") developers, independent engineers, and other innovators to spark the development of the next generation of air pollution monitoring devices and technologies.

Leading the Way to Cleaner Cookstoves

For roughly half the world's population, the source for both cooking and keeping warm is a simple fire pit surrounded by three large stones arranged to keep a pot, grill, or cooking surface above the flames.

Health Effects of Biodiesel

The use of biodiesel fuels can both lower the nation's dependence on imported fossil fuels and convert waste streams, such as used cooking grease, into a marketable commodity sold to power vehicles or heat homes and businesses.

Exploring Climate Change and Air Quality Scenarios

Predicting the potential impact that future climate change will have on air quality, the environment, and ecosystems is critical so that potentially damaging effects can be reduced.

Reducing Hazardous Air Pollutants from Industrial Boilers

New studies conducted by EPA researchers in 2012 are playing a critical role in Agency efforts to reduce hazardous air pollution while also making it easier and less costly for industries and boiler operators to comply with new National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) rules under the Clean Air Act.

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