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

Opens: November 20, 2023
Closes: February 2, 2024

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 2025 fiscal year (FY). See the following section for a description of 2025 FY goals and priorities. Coinciding with this announcement, UDAQ expects to award nearly $500,000 in State funding. UDAQ anticipates awarding any number of grants from this announcement, subject to the availability of funds, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations. Applicants are limited to three proposal submissions per funding cycle.

Fiscal Year 2025 Goals and Priorities

The Science for Solutions applied research grant was established to solicit help from the research community in understanding and addressing important Utah air quality problems. Broad topics of concern for UDAQ are the following:

  • High summertime ozone along the Wasatch Front
  • High wintertime ozone in the Uinta Basin
  • Dust from the exposed lakebed around the Great Salt Lake (GSL)

To be considered for funding under this RFP, each project proposal must address at least one of the following topics:

1. Summertime Ozone Chemistry and Sources

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 and its formation can be limited by NOx, VOCs or both. To help establish control strategies, more measurements are needed to identify and characterize the sources of the most important VOCs to summertime ozone formation. Measurements of speciated VOCs, including biogenic and oxygenated VOCs, at high temporal frequency and spatial resolution are specifically needed.

  1. Biogenic VOCs: measurement of biogenic 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol (MBO), formaldehyde, isoprene
  2. Soil NOx
  3. Oxygenated VOCs
  4. O3-NOx-VOC sensitivity
  5. Utah-specific validation of remote sensing products
  6. Measurements of “background” ozone and ozone precursors

2. 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:

Uintah Basin:

  1. Characterization of fugitive and missing emission sources (e.g. gathering pipelines, pigging, water tank emissions, solvents)
  2. NOx emissions associated with short and long-haul trucking, drilling, and engines
  3. Methane emissions and ozone formation impacts
  4. Top-down validation of methane and VOC emissions inventories

Wasatch Front:

  1. Wasatch Front:
  2. Source-specific emission rates estimates for VOCs/volatile chemical products (VCPs)
  3. Composition of emissions and emission rates from tank farms at Wasatch Front refineries
  4. Emission factors, activity and spatial allocation of major ammonia sources
  5. These include animal husbandry, landfills, composting facilities, livestock and agriculture
  6. Emission rates and emission spatial allocation for long-haul and short haul trucks
  7. Emission rates for halogens and biogenics from the Great Salt Lake

3. Meteorology-Chemistry Coupling

Air mass exchanges are important meteorological processes affecting the transport and formation of air pollutants. Measurements and models to better characterize the complex meteorological features, chemical mechanisms and physical processes associated with wintertime and summertime air pollution episodes are needed.

  1. Vertical oxidants exchange 
  2. Canyon, slope and valley flows 
  3. Snow and cloud cover representation
  4. Lake breeze and its impact on boundary layer evolution and pollutant transport 
  5. Top-down turbulent erosion, PCAPS inversion depth and strength 
  6. Snow surface chemistry
  7. Improvement to regional boundary conditions from global models

4. Great Salt Lake Dust

Reduced levels of the Great Salt Lake increases the exposure of contaminant-containing sediments that could impact public health and regional levels of particulate matter. This evolving PM source is commingled with historic natural and anthropogenic dust sources, such as the Lake Seiver and Bonneville dry lakes, quarries, and mine tailings. Better understanding of local dust source regions, source compositions, how sources change over time, and what populated areas are most impacted is critical for improved monitoring and planning.

  1. Dust event modeling 
  2. Composition measurements
  3. Analysis of historic trends and/or future scenarios
  4. Community impact assessments

Submission Instructions

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

Science for Solutions Research Grant – FY 2025

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 cpennell@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 cpennell@utah.gov. The subject heading should include the project title and the applicant (organization) name, and FY2025. 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 sponsored projects/research office.

Contact Information

Please contact Chris Pennell (cpennell@utah.gov) for questions relating to this RFP.

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