Developing Innovative Analyses Using Emissions and Air Quality Monitoring Data.
The Clean Air Markets Division (CAMD) is responsible for monitoring emissions from sources covered by air quality programs like the Acid Rain Program and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. To support these programs, CAMD collects Power Sector Emissions Data, a robust dataset of emissions and operations information from over 4,000 electricity generating units (available online at https://ampd.epa.gov/ampd/), such as:
- Emissions of SO2, NOX, mercury, and CO2
- Operating parameters, like heat input and gross electricity output
- Facility attributes, like location, fuel types, monitoring systems, and air pollution controls
Additionally, in cooperation with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and many other partners, CAMD also operates the Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET) monitoring program to assess long-term trends in air quality and deposition used to provide accountability for EPA’s emission reduction programs. CASTNET provides weekly gaseous (SO2, HNO3) and particulate (SO42-, NO3–, NH4+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, Cl–) concentrations at more than 90 sites (available online at https://epa.gov/castnet). Hourly concentrations of ground-level O3 are also provided at most monitoring sites to support the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and assess regional and international transport of emissions.
CAMD is looking to academic and research institutions to propose practical and replicable projects that benefit academic institutions, the environment, and the public. We will be looking for proposals for innovative and creative uses of CAMD data that should advance the knowledge, use, and understanding of CAMD data and related information, with priority on the following key project themes:
- Analyzing data: Answer timely and relevant research questions using CAMD data
- Enhancing communications: Design new and innovative ways to present CAMD data to the public
- Developing technology and data mashups: Develop new technologies or analytic methods to integrate CAMD data with other datasets to unlock the broader potential of CAMD data
- Promoting environmental education: Explore opportunities to use CAMD data in high school or university classrooms
- Improving data quality: Identify and apply algorithms (e.g., machine learning) to electronically audit CAMD data and enhance data quality
As a challenge winner, you will receive direct support from EPA CAMD staff experts to answer questions and assist you with CAMD tools and data analysis as you complete your project. In addition, you can expect to:
- Receive national recognition for your university or organization, students, and project activities by being featured on the EmPOWER Air Data Challenge webpage and offered opportunities to speak at conferences and events
- Collaborate with EPA and peers to advance power sector-related research and knowledge
- Participate in special networking events and webinars
- Improve understanding of and solve timely and relevant environmental problems
- Gain practical experience working on environmental issues with EPA
While no funding is available for these projects, existing grants may be leveraged by participants, and we suggest that applicants reach out to their communities or other organizations for additional financial support, if needed.