Utah Division of Air Quality Applied Research

2014-2015 Research Projects (PDF)

The State of Utah is home to towering mountain ranges, resource-rich basins, sprawling farmland, and vast deserts. These diverse environments are inhabited by equally diverse people, all of whom are affected by the air quality in our state. Understanding the factors that influence the quality of our air is imperative to mitigating the harmful effects of poor air quality on public health. The physical environment which includes atmospheric chemistry, meteorology, and topography, combines with by-products of modern technology and industry such as emissions from vehicles and buildings, to create air pollution problems that are unique to Utah. Research conducted by the Division of Air Quality and its community partners informs decisions made by the Utah State Legislature to improve our air quality.

Learn more about Air Quality Research Projects from 2014-2015 (6 MB) in this informative document.

2016-2017 Research Project Summary Table

Our researchers are working on many different projects at any given time. This table shows our projects by subject material, funding source, and year.

Project Description Region Subject Principal Investigator Year Funding Source Amount
Toxics Study I Analysis of 8 years of toxics data from West Valley City and Bountiful. Data were compared to comparable data set from Phoenix, Arizona. Wasatch Front Public Health Roman Kuprov 2014 NA NA
Toxics Study II


Year-long study to monitor toxic compounds in Lindon and West Valley City with the permanent toxics monitoring in Bountiful—DAQ & U of U Wasatch Front Public Health Roman Kuprov 2015 NA $110,000
Toxics Study III


Toxics analysis and comparison to metropolitan cities outside of Utah. Follow-up to Toxics Study I, compare concentrations found in Utah to 5 other cities in the United States – DAQ Wasatch Front Public Health Roman Kuprov 2016 NA NA
Toxics Study IV


Evaluate elevated concentrations of formaldehyde methylene chloride found at the Bountiful monitoring site – DAQ Wasatch Front Public Health Nancy Daher 2017 EPA Multipurpose Grant $191,000
West Valley Toxics


Detailed study of large number of multi-pollutant observations combined with meteorology and statistical analyses to look for source regions of monitored pollutants Wasatch Front Public Health Munkh Baasandorj (UDAQ/UU) / Jaron Hansen (BYU) 2015 EPA Community Air Toxics Grant $355,000
Exceptional Events Modeling


Inventory development; source apportionment; STILT & STILTCHEM model.—U of U Wasatch Front Wildfires, Aerosols, Summer Ozone, Wind-blown dust John Lin/Derek Mallia (UU) 2015 Utah State Legislature $100,000
Vehicle Cold Start Emissions Comprehensive study of cold start emissions for policy and regulatory purposes.—USU & WSU (NCAST) Wasatch Front PM2.5 Randy Martin (USU), Joe Thomas (WSU) 2015 Utah State Legislature $125,000
Hydrocarbon Emission Detection Survey of Uinta Basin Oil and Gas Wells Survey to detect oil and gas emissions using infrared cameras from the ground as well as aerially Survey to detect oil and gas emissions using infrared cameras from the ground as well as aerially Winter Ozone Seth Lyman 2018 BLM, Utah Legislature, UDAQ, EPA NA
Non-Combustion Formaldehyde Study


Field study to measure formaldehyde emissions from non-combustion sources Uinta Basin Winter Ozone Seth Lyman (USU) 2015 Utah State Legislature $75,000
Uinta Basin Winter Ozone Studies


Large-scale field campaign to assess the role of atmospheric chemistry and precursor gases as they interact to create high levels of wintertime ozone Uinta Basin Winter Ozone Brock LeBaron (UDAQ) 2011-2014 Multiple agencies ~ $3,500,000
Storage Tank Emissions Pilot Project (STEPP)


Informed DAQ and Public about how many controlled tank facilities are leaking on State jurisdiction in the Uinta Basin. Gave information about what type of components are leaking, the types of repairs needed, and how difficult/costly repairs might be. Uinta Basin Winter Ozone Whitney Oswald (UDAQ), Seth Lyman (USU), Jordan Mathis (Tri-County Health)
2017 Utah Legislature $150,000
Ulend Program


Provides information about whether the controlled tank leak rate in the Uinta Basin is consistent over time and across jurisdictions.  Also provides the benefit of use of an IR camera to small businesses. Enables companies currently not capable, to identify and repair leaks. Lower emissions from O&G facilities. Uinta Basin, Statewide Winter Ozone Whitney Oswald (UDAQ), Seth Lyman (USU), Jordan Mathis (Tri-County Health) 2017 Utah Legislature $200,000
Oil & Gas Projection/Growth & Decline Curve Analysis


Improve assumptions in the projection of Uinta Basin development and emissions growth.—U oF U Uinta Basin Winter Ozone Terry Ring (UU), John Wilkey (UU) Utah Legislature/BLM $130,000
Chemistry Mechanisms at Low Temperatures


Addresses temperature dependent reactions or organic nitrate. Builds upon the work of Dr. William Carter done for UGR Wyoming. Add SAPRC chemistry and speciation profile to CMAQ.—USU/BYU Uinta Basin Winter Ozone Marc Mansfield (USU) 2015 Utah State Legislature $65,000
CAMx Snow Cover Treatment


A different approach from the SAPRC mechanism but important because it can apply to summer O3 modeling. Includes consulting for implementation of the HONO chemistry improvement.—ENVIRON Wasatch Front, Uinta Basin PM2.5, Winter Ozone Chris Emery, Greg Yarwood (Ramboll-Environ) 2015 Utah State Legislature $110,000
Winter Atmospheric Modeling Improvements


Incorporate model improvements for winter conditions that were developed for the Uinta Basin into Wasatch Front cold pool conditions.—U oF U Wasatch Front, Northern Utah PM2.5 John Horel (UU), Erik Crosman (UU) 2015 Utah State Legislature $100,000
Modeling of 3 Wintertime Episodes


Improved SIP modeling Wasatch Front PM2.5 Erik Crosman (UU), Chris Foster (UU) 2016 Utah State Legislature $20,000
Wasatch Front Wood Burning Emissions


What would be the effect of a two-stage program that would reduce emissions from wood-burning stoves while at the same time maximizing the number of days that EPA-certified stoves and other devices could be used for home heating. Second, what would be the impact of a program that would encourage individuals and families to replace older stoves and fireplaces with new, clean-burning devices. Wasatch Front PM2.5, wood smoke Nancy Daher 2015 Utah State Legislature $70,000
Northern Utah Wood Burning Survey Survey of residential wood burning emissions; ground truth area-source inventory.—ICF/DAQ Northern Utah PM2.5, wood smoke ICF 2015 Utah State Legislature $70,000
Great Salt Lake Summer Ozone Study


Atmospheric boundary layer analysis; air quality model conceptual understanding & model verification; mobile/van surface ozone monitoring on lake perimeter; stationary monitors to compare against mobile data.—U oF U/DAQ Wasatch Front Public Health John Horel Summer 2015 Utah State Legislature $65,000
Great Salt Lake Ambient Hydrochloric Acid Study Contour analysis of HCl concentrations surrounding the GSL and Salt Lake Valley; point source emissions allocation; ambient HCl monitoring Wasatch Front Public Health Randy Martin (USU) Summer-Fall 2015 2015 Utah State Legislature $9,868
Utah Winter Fine Particulate Study (UWFPS)


Increase scientific understanding of the complex atmospheric chemistry that drives the formation of unhealthy levels of particulate matter (PM) in Utah’s nonattainment areas. The UWFPS will supplement ground monitoring data with atmospheric data from aloft where the particulate formation occurs. Wasatch Front PM2.5 Steve Brown (NOAA), Munkh Baasandorj (UDAQ/UU) 2017 Utah State Legislature              (NOAA, CIRES, CU, USU, WSU, UU,  EPA,USDA,UW,
Univ. of Toronto, Univ. of Minnesota, BYU)
$130,000 ($1,870,000 in kind)
Salt Lake Valley Winter PM2.5 Study Project to collect mobile and aerostat measurements of chemical and meteorological parameters to improve the scientific understanding of severe wintertime pollution episodes in the Salt Lake Valley. – UofU and WSU Wasatch Front PM2.5 Munkh Baasandorj (UDAQ/UU) 2016 Utah State Legislature

* Note: Project summary is in progress and will be posted once available.