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Request for Proposals (RFP):
Science for Solutions Research Grant

Opens: November 11, 2020
Closes: January 22, 2021

The Utah Division of Air Quality (UDAQ) is seeking proposals for air quality research projects that help achieve UDAQ’s goals and priorities for the upcoming 2022 fiscal year (FY). See the following section for a description of 2022 FY goals and priorities. Coinciding with this announcement, UDAQ expects to award nearly $500,000 in State funding. The number of grants awarded is approximately 3 – 8, subject to the availability of funds, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations. Funding is ongoing and UDAQ anticipates providing this opportunity on an annual basis.

Fiscal Year 2022 Goals and Priorities

UDAQ is soliciting proposals for projects designed to help the State of Utah meet federal air quality standards. To be considered for funding under this RFP, each project proposal must address at least one of the following topics:

I. Source Contributions to Summer-Time Ozone

The Wasatch Front often experiences exceedances of the national ambient air quality standard for ozone during the summer. Regulating locally-formed ozone to reach attainment is complicated by the fact that ozone has a mix of different sources. These include stratospheric transport, wildfires, biogenic emissions as well as international and US anthropogenic sources. To help establish control regulations, more measurements are needed to determine the contributions from these sources to summer-time surface ozone:

A.  Great Salt Lake
B.  Biogenic emissions
C.  Anthropogenic emissions
D.  Inter-state and International transport

II.  PM2.5 Formation and Precursor Gases

To better inform air pollution control strategies in northern Utah, it is necessary to understand the complex chemical processes that contribute to secondary PM2.5 formation. Secondary PM2.5 accounts for over 70% of total PM2.5 during wintertime air pollution episodes. It is produced from complex atmospheric chemistry that involves several different gaseous compounds. UDAQ would like to better understand and quantify the sources of compounds contributing to wintertime air pollution along the Wasatch Front and Cache Valley. Information on their spatial, temporal and vertical distribution as well as photolysis rates is also needed. Compounds and parameters of interest include, but are not limited to:

A.  Volatile organic compounds
B.  Oxidized nitrogen compounds
C.  Atmospheric radicals
D.  Halogens
E.  Actinic flux, solar radiation and photolysis rates

III.  Physico-Chemical PM Composition

Supermicron particles, such as dust and chloride salts, can serve as area sources of halogens and condensational sinks for gas-phase HNO3, thereby controlling the formation of secondary PM2.5 when present in sufficient mass loading. To better understand the role that these fine and coarse-mode aerosols play in wintertime PM2.5 atmospheric chemistry, more information is needed on:

A.  Size-resolved PM chemical composition and mass loading
B.  Gas-particle partitioning

IV.  Emissions Inventory Improvements

Recent studies along the Wasatch Front and Uinta Basin highlighted discrepancies between inventory estimates and measurements of several key precursors to the formation of ozone and PM2.5. These include carbonyls, hydrocarbons, alcohols, halogens and ammonia, among others. Reconciling differences between inventory estimates and observations is needed for improved modeling of ozone and PM2.5. Improved representation of emission sources and their estimated activity, spatio-temporal distribution and chemical speciation is particularly needed. This entails a better characterization of:

A.  Uinta Basin:

    1.  Source-specific organic compounds emission rates estimates
    2. Source-specific organic compounds speciation profiles
    3. Fugitive and missing emission sources (e.g. shut-in/abandoned wells, gathering pipelines, pigging, water tank emissions, solvents)
    4. NOx emissions
    5. Measurement and/or model of stochastic emissions (e.g. “super-emitters”, equipment malfunction)
    6. Methane emissions & ozone formation impacts

B.  Wasatch Front:

    1. Halogens emission rates estimates
    2. Speciated volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
    3. Source-specific emission rates estimates for VOCs/volatile chemical products (VCPs)
    4. Emission factors, activity and spatial allocation of major ammonia sources.
      These include animal husbandry, landfills, composting facilities, livestock and agriculture.
    5. NOx emission rates estimates

V.  Air Exchange Processes and Pollutants Mass Transport

Air mass exchanges are important meteorological processes affecting the transport of air pollutants. Air exchanges across the Great Salt Lake, different Utah valleys, and canyons as well as between the polluted boundary layer and free troposphere affect the transport and mixing of key precursors to PM2.5 and ozone. Regional meteorological processes also lead to long-range transport of ozone and its precursors. A more detailed characterization of these processes and their impact on air pollutants chemistry is needed. Better estimates of the mass transport of air pollutants, such as halogens and ammonia, are also needed.

A.  Lake breeze and its impact on pollutant transport
B.  Air pollutants mass transport estimates and deposition during stagnation events
C.  Oxidants exchange between atmospheric boundary layer and free troposphere
D.  Vertical stratification of polluted boundary layer
E.  Vertical distribution of ozone and precursors to ozone and PM2.5

VI.  Air Quality and Meteorological Model Improvements

Air quality models remain important tools for guiding policy makers in preparing State Implementation Plans to demonstrate compliance with federal air quality standards. Modeling enables UDAQ to demonstrate and quantify the effectiveness of future emissions control strategies. Better representation of the complex meteorological features, chemical mechanisms and physical processes associated with wintertime and summertime air pollution episodes is needed.

A.  Surface land-use characterization and topography
B.  Urban canopy models and anthropogenic heat fluxes
C.  Canyon, slope and valley flows
D.  Snow and cloud cover representation
E.  Lake breeze with focus on its impact on boundary layer evolution and pollutant transport
F.  Aerosol-radiation-cloud interactions
G.  Top-down turbulent erosion
H.  Snow surface chemistry
I.  Nitric acid and organics deposition
J.  Halogen chemistry

VII.  Toxic Urban Air Pollutants

Davis County has a large industrial complex with multiple oil refineries, chemical facilities and manufacturing industries. Given their close proximity to these sources, communities in this area are at high risk of exposure to air toxics. Identifying sources of these toxic pollutants is essential to reduce their emissions and associated risks. Compounds of particular interest include dichloromethane and formaldehyde. While previous source apportionment studies provided insight on emission sources of these air toxics in the Bountiful area, near-source monitoring is needed for better source identification. Near-source characterization efforts include, but are not limited to:

A.  Characterization of fence-line pollutant levels
B.  Temporal and spatial evaluations, concentration gradients
C.  Pollutant source signatures and formation processes

Submission Instructions

Please download and review the RFP document for eligibility and conditions:

Science for Solutions Research Grant – FY 2022 (493 KB)

Proposals must comply with the proposal submission instructions and content requirements set forth in this RFP or else they will not be reviewed. In addition, proposals must be submitted via email to daqresearch@utah.gov on or before the proposal submission deadline. Applicants are responsible for following the submission instructions of this announcement to ensure that their proposal is timely submitted.

To submit proposals, send your complete proposal application package via email to daqresearch@utah.gov. The subject heading should include the project title and the applicant (organization) name, and FY2022. Proposals submitted after the submission deadline will be considered late and deemed ineligible without further consideration unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate that it was late due to UDAQ mishandling or because of technical problems associated with the state email system used for submission. Applicants affiliated with Universities must submit their proposals through their specific sponsored projects/research office.

Contact Information

Please contact Chris Pennell for questions relating to this RFP.

Last updated: November 10, 2020 at 11:31 am
Categories: Air Quality