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Photographer: Captain Albert E. Theberge, NOAA Corps (ret.). NOAA image wea03075 Historic NWS Collection. Mt. Washington, NH
Air quialty issues and impacts differ markedly in their causes and character from region to region. Thus, the technical and economic foundation for sound policy must be regional in scope.
Thirty-four years after the passage of the Clear Air Act, enormous progress has been made toward reducing atmospheric pollution and improving air-quality across the country. Advances in controlling the most ubiquitous and best understood air pollution sources has now yielded an array of highly complex air quality issues which require significantly deeper scientific understanding and technical analysis. The Northeast States are now faced with an unprecedented number of state, regional and federal programs addressing a broad range of air quality and other air-related environmental issues.
There is growing political momentum to establish policies that deal with the diverse air quality issues facing the northeastern U.S. Before this momentum can be translated into effective public policy, a sound technical and economic understanding of these issues must be developed. Air quality issues and impacts differ markedly in their causes and character from region to region. Thus, the technical and economic foundation must be regional in scope. Air quality policy is currently based on modeling and assessment tools developed with a national or global-not regional-focus. Consequently, regional policymakers lack comprehensive information based on synergistic scientific, analytical, and econometric tools to determine environmentally optimal and economically defensible approaches to solve these complex problems.
A Northeast Center for excellence in Atmospheric Sciences and Policy will be established jointly in FY2005 by the Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future (NESCCAF) and the University of New Hampshire's AIRMAP program. The Center will leverage unique tools already in place at these institutions, including the AIRMAP atmospheric observing network and its state-of-the-art regional scale modeling capabilities for climate and air quality. The Center will implement a new regional observing system using existing tall towers, a micro-network of small flux towers, and satellite remote sensing of land use type and ecosystem processes to improve modeling of climate and air quality for selected greenhouse gases and toxics.
NESCCAF will utilize energy/technology models, expanded to encompass the 12-state region working together on several policy fronts that deal with climate change, ozone pollution, and visibility impairment by fine particulates. These activities will be directly linked to regional econometric models. A unique aspect of the Center will engage local business and industry to seek solutions to air quality and climate problems that are specific to the Northeast.
Together these activities will result in a diverse regional database and associated models, spanning air quality, climate, technology and economics that are of a quality and dimension not presently available. To this end, this Center will develop sound regional policy and represent a model for replication in other regions of the U.S.
Gary Kleiman , Senior Scientist and Science & Technology Program Manager
|Regional Scale Climate Models|
|Regional Scale Mercury Modeling|
|Regional Energy and Economic Modeling|
|Regional Business and Industry Engagement|