"During the seven month period of November, 2001 through May, 2002, meetings of the Air Quality Research Subcommittee of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) and its Particulate Matter (PM) Research Coordination Working Group focused on a strategic plan for federal research on the health and environmental effects, exposures, atmospheric processes, source characterization and control of fine airborne PM. This document describes the broad elements of an interagency research plan to focus the resources of member agencies addressing the most pressing needs of this public health and welfare issue. The report lays out a conceptual framework that integrates discipline specific research in risk assessment - risk management context. It summarizes current understanding, highlights recent accomplishments, and identifies some of the key information gaps in science to support public policy on PM. It highlights a set of policy relevant science questions and the intended impacts of ongoing Federal research to answer these questions. Science on this subject is rapidly evolving and periodic updates of this working document are anticipated."--P.  of cover.