The Use of Regulatory Air Quality Models to Develop Successful Ozone Attainment Strategies
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed lowering the 8-hr ozone standard to between 65-70 ppb. Not all regions of the U.S. are in attainment of the current 75 ppb standard and it is expected that many regions currently in attainment will not meet the future, lower surface ozone standard. Ozone production is a nonlinear function of emissions, biological processes, and weather. Federal and state agencies rely on regulatory air quality models such as the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model and Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx) to test ozone precursor emission reduction strategies that will bring states into compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). We will describe various model scenarios that simulate how future limits on emission of ozone precursors (i.e. NOx and VOCs) from sources such as power plants and vehicles will affect air quality. These scenarios are currently being developed by states required to submit a State Implementation Plan to the EPA. Projections from these future case scenarios suggest that strategies intended to control local ozone may also bring upwind states into attainment of the new NAAQS. Ground based, aircraft, and satellite observations are used to ensure that air quality models accurately represent photochemical processes within the troposphere. We will highlight some of the improvements made to the CMAQ and CAMx model framework based on our analysis of NASA observations obtained by the OMI instrument on the Aura satellite and by the DISCOVER-AQ field campaign.