Welcome to Air Quality Research Roadmap (AiR2), 2018!

Update: Air Quality Research Roadmap (AiR2) 2018 has concluded. Thanks to all of you who participated! See the links below to review the summarized list of suggested research topics and areas from AiR2, as well as the Final Goals and Priorities list for FY2020.

AiR2 is an opportunity to discuss, network, and make progress toward scientific solutions to Utah’s unique air quality problems with others in the local research and regulatory spheres. UDAQ will soon establish a yearly grant available to the research community. A request for proposals (RFPs) will be announced on November 1, 2018. UDAQ anticipates awarding nearly $500,000 on an ongoing annual basis for about 3 – 8 projects. The discussion between researchers and regulators at AiR2 is vital in figuring out what research topics will most benefit our state. Please come prepared to share your ideas as we travel together in finding an avenue towards Science for Solutions!

AiR2 features two rounds of group discussion:

ROUND ONE: General stage setting

Our goal is to improve air quality, which is something UDAQ’s been working on for quite a while.

  1. What do you see as the scope of the challenge?
  2. At this point in time, if we want to make the greatest difference, what should we emphasize?
  3. Collectively rank top 3 – 5 ideas from each table.

ROUND TWO: Being specific

This legislative funding comes with a mandate that research leads to a benefit for the state and its residents. Our focus is on science for solutions.

  1. Given the results of Round 1, where or what are the gaps in our knowledge base?
  2. Continuing to build on previous discussion, what research areas should we consider and why?

Draft Goals and Priorities, FY 2020

To facilitate discussion, UDAQ has drafted a list of goals and priorities to present at AiR2. Utilizing the broad knowledge base of AiR2 participants, the following list of goals and priorities will be refined and improved as to represent the kind of projects that will make the most impact in understanding and improving Utah air quality.

PM2.5 Chemistry and Precursor Gases

To better inform pollution control strategies in northern Utah, it is necessary to understand the complex chemical and physical processes that contribute to secondary PM2.5 formation. Secondary PM2.5 accounts for over 70% of total PM2.5 during wintertime exceedances of the federal standard. Secondary PM2.5 is produced from complex atmospheric chemistry that involves several different gaseous compounds. UDAQ would like to better quantify the contribution and sources of the following compounds to wintertime pollution along the Wasatch Front and Cache Valley:

  • Ammonia
  • HCl and halogens
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Oxidized nitrogen compounds

PM2.5 Source Contributions

Organic mass is an important component of wintertime ambient PM2.5. Its sources in PM2.5 are, however, unclear. While residential wood combustion may be a significant contributor to the organic mass, its source contribution is not fully quantified. The contribution of aged wood smoke to the organic mass and PM2.5 is uncertain. The contributions of other sources of organic material to PM2.5 are also unclear. More spatially-resolved measurements are also needed.

  • Residential wood combustion
  • Organic mass

Emissions Sources and Their Impact on Ozone Formation

Ground level ozone mitigation efforts require an improved understanding of emissions source contribution to high ozone concentrations. The Uinta Basin is prone to high ozone levels in the wintertime (oil and gas development), while the Wasatch Front is subject to higher ozone concentrations in the summer (transport and urban development). UDAQ seeks to identify how various activities influence ozone formation mechanisms in both summer and winter conditions.

Uinta Basin

  • Variability in composition of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (e.g. carbonyls, BTEX)
  • Other sources of ozone precursor emissions, particularly in the oil and gas sector (e.g. abandoned wells, pipelines, blowdowns/liquids unloading, produced water, fugitive emissions)

Wasatch Front

  • Background ozone
  • Anthropogenic impacts (e.g. mobile sources)

Air Exchange Processes and Pollutants 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 during winter. Regional meteorological processes also lead to ozone transport from nearby states. A more detailed characterization of these processes and their impact on air pollutants chemistry and levels is needed.

  • Lake-land interaction
  • Canyon flows
  • Interbasin exchange
  • Oxidants exchange between cold air pool and free troposphere
  • Regional ozone

Air Quality Modeling and Emissions Inventory Improvements

Air quality modeling remains the best available method for determining State compliance with federal pollution standards. Modeling enables UDAQ to demonstrate and quantify the effectiveness of future emissions control strategies. Therefore, serious efforts should be taken to enhance model performance. Improving estimates of emissions is one way to enhance model performance. However, a quality emissions inventory serves other critical regulatory functions as well.

  • The numerical representation of complex chemical and physical processes
  • Volatile organic compound (VOC) composition profiles
  • High-resolution data for the spatio-temporal allocation of emissions
  • The emission factors used for deriving annual emissions estimates
  • Finding missing emissions sources
  • Resolving top-down vs. bottom-up inventory discrepancies
  • Meteorological modeling

Urban Air Pollutants and Their Effect on Human Health

Utah is experiencing a rapidly increasing urbanization, population growth and economic development, which can lead to increased anthropogenic air pollutants emissions and associated health risks. The impact of this urban growth on the health of local communities is unclear and needs assessment.

  • Continual population growth
  • Urban development and policy impacts

Intersection of Air Quality and Human Behavior

Human behavior can significantly impact air pollution, and increasing urban growth makes this impact even more pronounced. The daily choices a population makes such as whether to utilize public transportation, to observe wood burning bans, or to limit idling may have a perceivable impact on Utah’s air quality. While various air quality rules and regulations can be developed, the true compliance and adoption rates may not reach their ideal levels. An improved understanding of the direct impacts of human behavior on air quality is needed.

  • Human behavior and policy impacts
  • Impacts of public outreach and communication
  • Influencing behavioral change


1:00 to 1:10 p.m. Welcome to AiR2, UDAQ Director Bryce Bird
1:10 to 1:30 p.m. Introduction to UDAQ-Funded Research, UDAQ Technical Analysis Section
1:30 to 1:35 p.m. AiR2 Logistics & Instructions, Renette Anderson
1:35 to 2:35 p.m. Round Table Discussion #1: Air Quality Issues and Problems
2:35 to 2:50 p.m. Break (light refreshments served)
2:50 to 3:50 p.m. Round Table Discussion #2: Research Topics that Address Problems Outlined in Discussion #1
3:50 to 4:00 p.m. Wrap up

Location and Parking

The Multi-Agency State Office Building (MASOB) is located just east of the Salt Lake International Airport at 195 N 1950 W. The DEQ Board Room is located on the first floor of the MASOB. The MASOB is a secure building; The visitor entrance is located on the east side of the building.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: Is UDAQ providing food or beverages at the meeting?

Answer: UDAQ will provide light refreshments at the meeting during the break (2:35 p.m.).

Question: Where should I park?

Answer: The MASOB is conveniently located near the TRAX Green Line (Stop: 1940 W North Temple Station). Parking is free at the MASOB, but stalls are limited. Additional parking is available along the street and across the street.

Question: Is remote access (e.g., webinar) available for the meeting?

Answer: Remote access will only be provided for the first hour of the meeting.

Question: Is UDAQ asking for specific project proposals at the meeting?

Answer: No. We plan to broadly discuss future research needs. What kind of projects should UDAQ be funding?

Question: Do I need to attend the AiR2 meeting in order to submit a project proposal to UDAQ?

Answer: No. It is not necessary to attend the meeting in order to submit a proposal.

Contact Us

Please contact Lexie Wilson with any questions regarding AiR2.