|UNC researchers to predict Southeastern states’ air quality|
|Wednesday, June 16, 2010|
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers are collaborating on a new project to help predict levels of ozone, fine particles and regional haze in North Carolina and other Southeastern states in the coming decade.
The effort aims to protect public health and the environment effectively and efficiently without unnecessarily impairing economic development.
Using funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Southeastern States Air Resource Managers Inc. has awarded a $1.05 million contract to a collaborative group that includes the Center for Environmental Modeling for Policy Development at the UNC Institute for the Environment.
The project will aid in the development of state implementation plans required by the Clean Air Act and help states assess their compliance with the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The standards are designed to protect human health – especially among people suffering from respiratory illnesses, the elderly and children – and apply to critical air contaminants like ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and lead.
States not in compliance with the standards risk losing funds from the Federal Highway Administration. Several cities in North Carolina, including Charlotte, are either out of compliance or nearing it.
Along with North Carolina, the project will provide data for agencies in nine other states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
The project group also includes researchers at Colorado State University and Georgia Tech, which will serve as the primary investigator. Zac Adelman is the principal investigator leading the UNC team.
For more information see http://www.ie.unc.edu/PDF/news_related/CEMPD_SESARM_release.pdf.
Institute for the Environment contact: Josh Meyer, (919) 962-0965,