2012 Progress Report: Optimization of Multipollutant Air Quality Management Strategies

EPA Grant Number: R835218
Title: Optimization of Multipollutant Air Quality Management Strategies
Investigators: Liao, Kuo-Jen
Institution: Texas A & M University - Kingsville
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2015 (Extended to February 29, 2016)
Project Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2012 through May 31,2013
Project Amount: $249,115
RFA: Dynamic Air Quality Management (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air

Objective:

This project has four primary objectives:

Objective 1: Assessment of the effectiveness of reductions in emissions from various U.S. regions and local primary fine particulate matter for improving multipollutant air quality in urban areas

Objective 2: Development of a least-cost decision-making model, which allows identification of optimal control strategies for attaining prescribed multipollutant air quality targets at multiple locations simultaneously

Objective 3: Development of a resource allocation model that achieves the largest health benefits with limited resources (i.e., budgets) for improving regional air quality

Objective 4: Demonstration of the capability of the proposed least-cost and resource allocation models for developing multipollutant air quality management strategies for urban areas in the United States.

Progress Summary:

1st year: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Community Multi-scale Air Quality Model (CMAQ) version 4.7.1 with Decoupled Direct Method-3D (DDM-3D) was used to simulate ambient ozone concentrations and their sensitivities to emission changes for the summer of 2007. The results show that reductions in anthropogenic NOx emissions from the northeastern United States would be effective for decreasing peak ozone concentrations during the summer of 2007 in Baltimore, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City and Washington, DC. In addition to NOx emissions from the northeastern United States, peak ozone concentrations in the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area were also affected by anthropogenic NOx emissions from the Great Lake region and southeastern United States. In addition, an analytical approach has also been developed to quantify uncertainties in the air quality modeling results. The results show that the analytical approach is easy to implement and efficient to estimate uncertainties in the air quality modeling results, as compared to numerical approaches (e.g., the Monte Carlo method), since iterative simulations are not needed. Uncertainties (i.e., standard deviations) in independent input variables and linear sensitivities of output variables to perturbations in inputs were needed for the analytical uncertainty analysis. The uncertain inputs had been divided into two categories: (1) nitrogen oxides (NOx) and (2) volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. We quantified uncertainties in modeled peak ozone concentrations attributed to errors in NOx and VOC emissions from four regions in the eastern United States. The results of the uncertainty analysis show that anthropogenic NOx emissions from non-electric generating unit (EGU) sources in the northeastern United States were the most important contributor to uncertainties in modeled peak ozone concentrations in the four ozone air quality non-attainment areas in the Mid-Atlantic United States. The major limitations of the analytical uncertainty analysis approach include the assumption of linear responses of air pollutants to emission changes and the neglect of other important sources of uncertainties (e.g., chemical reaction rates) that could affect modeling results. However, this analytical uncertainty analysis approach provides air quality modelers with another option when estimating uncertainties in modeling results.

Future Activities:

  • Conduct WRF/SMOKE/CMAQ simulations for longer episodes
  • Develop cost functions of emission reductions
  • Develop air quality management strategies using the proposed optimization approach I
  • Develop air quality management strategies using the proposed optimization approach II


Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 14 publications 5 publications in selected types All 5 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Liao K-J, Hou X, Baker DR. Impacts of interstate transport of pollutants on high ozone events over the Mid-Atlantic United States. Atmospheric Environment 2014;84:100-112. R835218 (2012)
R835218 (Final)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Air quality, multipollutant, modeling uncertainty

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
    2014 Progress Report
    Final Report