Project 2: Air Pollutant Mixtures in Eastern Massachusetts: Spatial Multi-resolution Analysis of Trends, Effects of Modifiable Factors, Climate and Particle-induced Mortality

EPA Grant Number: R835872C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R835872
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Regional Air Pollution Mixtures
Center Director: Koutrakis, Petros
Title: Project 2: Air Pollutant Mixtures in Eastern Massachusetts: Spatial Multi-resolution Analysis of Trends, Effects of Modifiable Factors, Climate and Particle-induced Mortality
Investigators: Coull, Brent , Koutrakis, Petros , Schwartz, Joel
Institution: Harvard University , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2021
RFA: Air, Climate And Energy (ACE) Centers: Science Supporting Solutions (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Climate Change , Global Climate Change , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Airborne Particulate Matter Health Effects

Objective:

To characterize historical air pollution in Eastern Massachusetts at a high spatial resolution and identify modifiable factors responsible for observed changes in PM2.5 mass, emissions, elemental profiles, and ground air temperature. Project 2 will investigate within-region variability of pollutant mixtures (EPA ACE Center Research Question 1); examine the impact of modifiable factors on air quality (Research Question 2); and evaluate the effectiveness of source control policies (Research Question 4).

Approach:

Objective 1: Use a novel, multi-resolution spatial analysis based on wavelet decomposition of high-resolution (1x1 km) remote sensing data on PM2.5 mass and ground air temperature to identify daily regional, sub-regional (urban background) and locally generated variation in these fields. Objective 2: Develop and apply patiotemporal regression models to (a) quantify the impact of modifiable factors, including transportation, heating fuel use, energy, urban planning, PM2.5 emissions, population statistics, and policy interventions, on (i) sub-regional and local variation in PM2.5 mass and ground air temperature and (ii) highresolution local estimates of PM2.5 emissions; (b) identify locations in which these impacts are greatest; and (c) identify lag times between implementation of a given control strategy and decreases in PM2.5 emissions and mass. Objective 3: Implement a novel multi-resolution correlation analysis to identify PM2.5 elemental profiles that vary at regional, sub-regional, and local scales, and apply spatiotemporal regression models to these profiles to identify modifiable factors driving urban background and local variability in PM2.5 composition. Objective 4: Use the spatial scale-specific (regional, sub-regional, and local) temporal variability in PM2.5 mass and the PM2.5 elemental profiles to identify source types (regional, urban background, or local) and the composition of their emissions driving pollution-induced mortality in Eastern Massachusetts. This project will rely on existing remote-sensing satellite data, ambient monitoring data collected from numerous sampling campaigns (including the HSPH Boston Supersite daily samples collected since 1998 and samples from 600 locations), as well as new data collected from 2015-2018 in Eastern Massachusetts.

Expected Results:

We will directly estimate the impact of source control policies, other changes in energy and transportation sectors, and community-level characteristics on PM2.5 mass, emissions, and elemental profiles as well as ground air temperature in Eastern Massachusetts. We will describe how the effectiveness of control strategies vary across space and time and identify additional factors that potentially impact air quality. We will identify local actions at the state, city, or community level that may improve air quality, and develop and introduce accountability tools to assess the effectiveness of these local policies, which will be applicable in other areas.

Supplemental Keywords:

climate change, regional pollution, multi-resolution spatial analysis, source emissions, local pollution control strategies, wavelet analysis


Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R835872    Regional Air Pollution Mixtures

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R835872C001 Project 1: Regional Air Pollution Mixtures: The Past and Future Impacts of Emission Controls and Climate Change on Air Quality and Health
R835872C002 Project 2: Air Pollutant Mixtures in Eastern Massachusetts: Spatial Multi-resolution Analysis of Trends, Effects of Modifiable Factors, Climate and Particle-induced Mortality
R835872C003 Project 3: Causal Estimates of Effects of Regional and National Pollution Mixtures on Health: Providing Tools for Policy Makers
R835872C004 A Causal Inference Framework to Support Policy Decisions by Evaluating the Effectiveness of Past Air Pollution Control Strategies for the Entire United States
R835872C005 Project 5: Projecting and Quantifying Future Changes in Socioeconomic Drivers of Air Pollution and its Health-Related Impacts