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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA Awards $790,000 to UC Davis for Research on Protecting Air Quality in a Changing Climate

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (Huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO -Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $790,000 to the University of California, Davis to help answer the question of how to protect the air we breathe from the impacts of climate change. University researchers will use the funds to study air quality, exposure, and health impact outcomes under a range of energy use and emission scenarios.

"California has some of the worst air quality in the nation, and the changing climate could exacerbate the problem," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "UC Davis's research is an important step toward protecting the climate and achieving the state's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2050."

"We are excited to bring air pollution effects on public health into the discussion about California's energy future," said Michael J. Kleeman, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis. "This information will allow everyone to see the complete picture including air quality impacts."

Research has shown that climate change can affect air quality and impact public health. With the funding, researchers across the country will expand investigations to understand:

Health impacts from smoke due to a rise in wildfires that are increasing as a result of climate change;
Atmospheric changes in air pollution chemistry that are occurring due to climate change;
Potential consequences of increased levels of dust from particle pollution on human health and visibility;
Drought and land-use changes in the western U.S. that may impact the incidence of dust storms; and
Impacts to air quality from increased nitrogen-based fertilizer use.

Nationally, $8.5 million in grants, funded through the agency's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, was awarded to 12 universities for air quality research.

The University of California, Irvine-the only other grantee in California-received $701,304 to study the effects of ammonia and rising global temperatures on secondary organic aerosol formation.

To learn more about these awards, visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/594/records_per_page/ALL

To learn more about EPA's air research, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/air-research