Fiscal Year 1998-1999

May 1998

About the Research Program

This report presents the Air Resources Board's planned air pollution research for fiscal year 1998-1999. The proposed research projects are intended to be neither exhaustive nor exclusive. Unanticipated problems, unique or innovative study approaches that are not considered here, or urgency (among other factors) may all be causes for consideration of other research proposals, including proposals on other air-pollution-related problems. In a number of studies, the ARB depends on information being gathered from other entities using resources not under ARB's control (e.g., U.S. EPA studies). If these sources do not produce the needed information, the ARB research program may be called upon to provide it.

Why the research program exists. In accordance with California Health and Safety Code Sections 39700-39706, the Air Resources Board conducts a comprehensive program of research into the causes, effects, and possible solutions to air pollution in California. Several legislative mandates have expanded and more specifically defined the scope of the Board's research program. Additionally, the Board's research program is based on the need to develop a better understanding of air polluting emissions; their inventory, control, and transport; atmospheric reaction involving these chemicals; and the effects of air pollution upon health and the environment.

Objective of the research program. The objective of the research program is to provide timely scientific and technical information needed for public policy decisions that will allow the Board and local districts to implement an effective air pollution control program in California. Identification of problems and projects begins with the identification of a relevant scientific or technical problem by the Legislature, the Board, Board staff, local air pollution control district staffs, Board advisory committees, independent scientific investigators in the academic community and elsewhere, and the public.

Public involvement.The Board continues to invite and encourage the public to participate in planning research. Seventy-five research ideas were received, and a workshop was held to present the staff project selections and to receive public comments from the public. Six of the public research ideas were developed into projects that are included in this report.

Planning the research program. In planning the research program, the Board attempts to look ahead as far as possible to address environmental problems and regulatory needs. As additional information becomes available, and as needs and priorities emerge or change, projects may be deleted, modified, or added to the Board's research program. The availability of co-funding for a particular project, provided by agencies such as the South Coast Air Quality Management District or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, may also lead to changes in the program.

To aid in planning, the Board's Executive Officer established internal committees responsible for initial review of the research plan. Proposed projects (originating from both Board staff and the public) are examined for relevance to regulatory questions facing the Board and modified as necessary. Committee members then prioritize candidate projects in order of decreasing urgency and importance. Each committee, in consultation with their Deputy Executive Officer, submits a prioritized list of projects to the Executive Research Review Committee, whose members are the Executive Officer, his or her deputies, and the Chief of the Research Division. This Executive Committee reviews all of the proposed projects and establishes priorities within and among the various categories of research. Projects described in this report are those that are recommended and those that are recommended if funding is available. This year's efforts are largely directed at better understanding the sources, atmospheric processes, and health impacts of particulate matter. The recent actions taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency related to fine particulate matter standards and the comments received during our public outreach activities helped to focus these projects.

Research budget. Proposed projects fall under one of four research areas that support major programs of the Board:


Tentative Fiscal Year 1998-1999 Budget: $2,900,000


This division is prepared before approval of the Governor's budget by the Legislature, and is developed assuming a proposed research budget for Fiscal Year 1998-99 of $2,900,000. It is therefore subject to revision. The four research areas cover seven research categories:

Research Area Research Category
Motor Vehicles and Fuels Mobile Sources
Toxic Air Contaminants Toxic Air Contaminants
California Clean Air Act Stationary Sources
Regional Air Quality
Economic Studies
Air Quality Standards Health Effects
Ecological Effects


Other research activities. In addition to the research program described here (called the extramural program), the Board sponsors research under several other programs for which the Legislature has provided more narrowly defined objectives, either in statutes or in the Budget Act.

These programs are:

Expected Fiscal Year 1998-99 Budget


Crop Loss




Children's Health Study




Indoor Air Quality




California Clean Air Act




Alternative Fuels




Innovative Clean Air Technologies




PM10 Assessment




Air Quality Standards 





These programs are periodically reviewed by the Board and are fully coordinated with the Board's extramural program. The budget amounts above are subject to approval and may change.

Two agreements with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment will be funded in 1998-99. One agreement, for $297,000, is for research on indoor air quality; the second agreement, for $164,000, is for research on air quality standards.

Short descriptions of the FY 1998-99 research projects
Full descriptions of the FY 1998-99 research projects

Research Activities