Air Pollution and Climate Research Planning

This page last reviewed October 14, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Research in Review - Issue 1, July 2015, our first newsletter detailing recently completed projects is now available for download!

The Legislature created the Board’s research program in 1971 and identified it as an integral part of an effective air pollution control program. With the mandate as its foundation, the program encompasses all aspects of air pollution.  ARB’s research program continues to play an important role in meeting the challenges of increasingly stringent federal air quality standards and long-term climate goals, and serves as the foundation for effective regulatory decisions. The program sponsors fundamental air pollution and climate studies, supports the development of new and innovative pollution-reduction strategies, and evaluates ongoing programs and regulatory efforts.  To assist the Board in managing a technically sound research program, the Legislature created the Research Screening Committee to oversee the program. ARB’s scientific technical staff serve as contract managers and closely monitor and manage the work performed by outside contractors.

Annual Research Plan

The Annual Research Plan describes the research projects the Board will fund in the following fiscal year. The planning process, open solictation notice, and previous research planning documents can be viewed on the Planning Process webpage.

Previous Annual Research Plans can be accessed from the left side menu, or by visiting the Plan Archive webpage.

The 2015-2016 Annual Research Plan was approved by the Board at the December 18, 2014 Board Meeting.

Other ARB Research Plans and Programs

Strategic Plan

ARB's regulatory priorities for the next decade are detailed in the Strategic Plan for Research, April 2003 Update (1,511 KB PDF). The objective of the plan is to provide more focused direction for ARB's research program, provide findings in a timely fashion, and better leverage state funds. Implementing a Strategic Plan will help ensure that limited resources are used efficiently and that the research efforts will effectively serve the need of the ARB.

Vulnerable Populations Research Program

In addition to the Strategic and Annual Research Plans, ARB conducts vulnerable populations research. The overall goal of the Vulnerable Populations Research Program (VPRP) is to provide the scientific support, through research efforts, for ARB's regulatory and non-regulatory programs that aim to protect all California residents, including those subpopulations considered especially vulnerable, from the adverse effects of air pollution. The major objectives of the VPRP are to identify susceptible subpopulations, to quantify the degree to which their health is compromised, and to characterize their exposure to air pollutants. The ARB has released the VPRP 2003 Progress Report and Research Plan which presents ARB's past and current activities and priorities for future activities in the implementation of this Program. For more information about the VPRP, contact Dr. Barbara Weller at (916) 324-4816.

Innovative Clean Air Technologies

From 1993 until 2008, the Board sponsored a program called the Innovative Clean Air Technologies (ICAT) program that co-funded the demonstration of innovative technologies that could reduce air pollution. The program is no longer supported.


The Board-appointed Research Screening Committee (RSC) oversees the ARB’s extramural research program.

The Scientific Review Panel (SRP) is charged with evaluating the risk assessments of substances proposed for identification as toxic air contaminants. 

For more information about Air Pollution Research, contact Sarah Pittiglio at (916) 324-0627 .