U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

DOE/EPA Air Quality Study Underway in the Pacific Northwest.
Published: August 15, 2001
Posted: August 24, 2001

The first sky-based study of Puget Sound's air quality began on August 13th. The several-week study is supported jointly by the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Science Program and the Environmental Protection Agency. The objective of the study is to gather air chemistry data to help understand the role of ozone and particulate matter in aggravating the air quality in the greater Seattle region. Levels of ozone in the Seattle area periodically exceed regulatory limits, and particulates, which aggravate asthma sufferers and have been linked to other serious health problems and air-pollution related deaths, are nearing peak recommended safe levels. Data from this study will enable the first comprehensive testing of air quality forecast models with above-ground-data. And data from this study is expected to help unravel some of the mysteries associated with the sources, distribution, transport, and formation of ozone, particulate matter, and the chemicals that form these pollutants in the atmosphere. The study, led by scientists from DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, features the DOE G-1 aircraft and collaborators from a number of organizations, including Environment Canada, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the University of Washington, and Washington State University. In fact, the study coincides with a study north of the border led by Environment Canada and the two studies will leverage each other's resources. Data from both studies will be shared under the auspices of NARSTO, the public-private consortium formerly known as the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone.

Contact: Peter Lunn, SC-74, 3-4819
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-74 Environmental Sciences Division, OBER)


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