Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments (CHSUE)

EPA Grant Number: R829482
Center: HSRC (2001) - Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments
Center Director: Bouwer, Edward J.
Title: Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments (CHSUE)
Investigators: Bouwer, Edward J.
Current Investigators: Bouwer, Edward J. , Alavi, Hedy
Institution: The Johns Hopkins University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2007
Project Amount: $941,000
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (2001) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


See Also Core Grant: R828771

About 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in metropolitan areas. These urban residents face a number of pressing environmental problems including exposure to toxic chemicals from Superfund sites, landfills, incinerators, leaded paint and gasoline, Brownfields, industrial release, and pesticide use. In this context, EPA Regions 1, 2, and 3 have both identified "Urban Livability" as a strategic priority. Focusing on the upper mid-Atlantic to the Northeast, the mission of this Center is two-fold: (1) to promote a better understanding of physical, chemical, and biological processes for detecting, assessing, and managing risks associated with the use and disposal of hazardous substances in urban environments and (2) to disseminate the results of the research and provide technical expertise to various stakeholders including community groups, municipal officials, regulators, academia, and industry.


Through a combination of laboratory- and field-scale research, this Center will address contaminants and sources that are known to be prevalent in urban environments. These include gas and particulate emissions of mercury, other toxic metals, and organic compounds from hazardous waste incinerators, Superfund sites, and Brownfields sites; chromium, arsenic, nickel, zinc, and cadmium in waters and soils; and chlorinated solvents in waste site gases, soils, sediments, and groundwaters. The Center's outreach components will foster partnering with stakeholders to encourage two-way flow of information regarding urban environmental issues and decisions concerning risk assessment and management. Examples include community advisory boards, regional workshops, high school internships, an interactive multimedia CD-ROM, environmental assessment of Brownfields sites in Baltimore, and the maintenance of a professionally designed Web site to foster Internet sharing of activities and results.

Expected Results:

The proposed research and outreach efforts will contribute new understanding, new approaches, and new means of information sharing for the assessment and management of the risks associated with urban environmental problems. Direct communication with individuals responsible for programs at the regional and neighborhood level will improve urban livability through better-informed decision-making at every level.


Collateral grants address outreach activities related to Brownfields. This grant will also be the vehicle for future additional federal funds, in addition to those committed for core grants, for supporting research and outreach activities at the Center.

Core Grant: R828771

Supplemental Keywords:

toxics, exposure assessment, cleanup, risk communication., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Air, Waste, Geographic Area, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, particulate matter, air toxics, Chemicals, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Atmospheric Sciences, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, EPA Region, Superfund site remediation, hazardous waste incineration, Chromium, Region 3, air pollution, hazardous waste incinerators, Zinc, airborne metals, cadmium, Region 2, arsenic, metal contamination, Region 1 , heavy metals, atmospheric chemistry

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • Final Report