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Development and Validation of a Predictive Model to Assess the Impact of Coastal Operations On Urban Scale Air Quality

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Final rept. 26 Jun 2002-31 Dec 2005

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Elevated levels of ozone O3 remain a serious issue throughout the U.S. Approximately 90 urban areas in the U.S., containing some 30 of the U.S. population, still exceed the O3 standard, with little immediate prospect of attainment. All the major urban areas in California are classified as non-attainment for O3. Control of O3 in the troposphere is complicated by the fact that it is a secondary pollutant. Particulate matter PM is also a serious environmental issue. Recognizing the health impacts of fine particulates, i.e., PM2.5, there are new standards for PM2.5. Unlike PM10, a significant fraction of ambient PM2.5 is produced by secondary reactions. Many of the urban areas classified as non-attainment for O3 or PM10 and facing non-attainment for PM2.5 are located along the east and west coasts of the U.S. and are home to major DoD facilities. These operations can be significant sources of the O3 and PM2.5 forming precursors, direct PM2.5 and PM10 emissions, and emissions of toxic species. Much of the uncertainty in developing an understanding of the causes of reduced air quality in urban areas is due to uncertainty in the emissions inventories however, in coastal areas the situation is confounded by the complex meteorology associated with the landsea interface. To evaluate the impact of emissions from DoD activities and control elevated pollutant levels, there is a need to develop forecasting models that incorporate the processes leading to secondary pollutant formation. These processes include emissions, meteorology transport and dispersion, and transformation chemistry. In order to address this need, the primary objective of this study was to develop a prognostic modeling system capable of assessing the potential influence of DoD facilities and operations on air quality in coastal zones. An additional objective was to develop an approach applicable to other complex environments.

Subject Categories:

  • Air Pollution and Control

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