Research Screening Committee Meeting
July 20, 2000

This page updated June 30, 2005.

State of California


Research Screening Committee Meeting

Research Division
First Floor Conference Room
2020 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-0753

July 20, 2000
10:00 a.m.



"Analysis of Off-Road Evaporative Emissions," RFP No. 00-4


The objective of this study is to collect evaporative (defined as Reactive Organic Gas [ROG]) emissions data from gasoline-powered off-road equipment, for inclusion in the Air Resources Boardís (ARB) emissions inventory model, OFF-ROAD. This project will require laboratory evaporative emissions testing of off-road equipment from various categories for different evaporative processes. The evaporative processes are defined as: diurnal / resting loss emissions, hot soak emissions, and evaporative running loss emissions. The equipment types include lawn and garden, marine, recreational vehicles, and commercial and industrial. These data will be used to update and improve the ARB's off-road evaporative emissions inventory. Emissions from this inventory are beginning to make up a greater portion of the total ROG emissions inventory, because other ROG sources, such as gasoline exhaust emissions, are being reduced, while off-road equipment evaporative emissions are currently uncontrolled.


"Environmental Health Conditions in Portable Classrooms," RFP No. 00-5


Six million students, in grades K-12, spend several hours a day in the classrooms of California's public schools. Serious health concerns have been raised regarding environmental problems in these classrooms, and little information is available on the nature and extent of problems such as indoor air pollution, poor ventilation, and mold growth. At the request of the Governorís Office, the ARB and Department of Health Services (DHS) have proposed a joint study to examine environmental conditions in portable classrooms, and this project would obtain the majority of the field data for that study. The project would include an initial mail survey, to obtain information on the number, types, and ages of portable classrooms currently in use, and the characteristics and conditions in portable classrooms. Then, indoor pollutant levels would be measured and building conditions examined in a sample of portable classrooms. A few traditional classrooms would be studied for comparison. Results from this study, along with input from stakeholder groups and knowledgeable state scientists, will provide the basis of the
ARB-DHS recommendations for improving indoor school environments.


"Characterizing the Range of Childrenís Pollutant Exposures during School Bus Commutes,"
RFP No. 00-2, Proposal No. 2455-215


Children who ride buses to school are potentially exposed to high concentrations of diesel exhaust particles and other vehicle pollutants. The objective of this study is to characterize school bus commute exposures experienced by children while riding on buses, waiting at bus stops, or waiting near idling buses during loading. Measurements will be obtained inside and near buses under a variety of scenarios, for commutes involving diesel, gasoline, and alternatively fueled buses. The results of this study will be used by ARB staff to better estimate childrenís exposure to diesel exhaust particles and other bus-related pollutants, and to determine what fraction of childrenís total exposure is attributable to school bus-related activity.


"Spatial Characterization of Air Pollution Exposure in Communities Participating in the Childrenís Health Study," University of California, Los Angeles, $1,266,752, Proposal No. 2456-215


This proposed study is ancillary to the Childrenís Health Study (CHS), a longitudinal study of air pollutionís impacts on childrenís respiratory health, sponsored by the ARB since 1993. The ancillary study will enhance the understanding of spatial variability in air pollution levels within the twelve southern California communities involved in the CHS. The additional information will allow a refinement of the estimates of the magnitude and nature of the effects different air pollutants have on the health of the children participating in the study. This knowledge has direct application to air pollution public health policy, such as health-based Ambient Air Quality Standards.


"Annual Report of the National Environmental Respiratory Center," National Environmental Respiratory Center, $50,000, Proposal No. 2457-215


One of the major problems facing researchers, regulators and the public in addressing the issues of health effects from pollution exposure is the complex mixtures to which the public is exposed. Historically, research on air pollutants has been to one pollutant or one class of pollutant at a time, although it is becoming increasingly apparent that this approach is inadequate to provide the information needed by the regulatory community. The National Environmental Respiratory Center (NERC) was created to address some of the issues in research on pollution mixtures. Although this is not a new concept, the NERC program is one of the most aggressive research approaches addressing the effects of pollution mixtures on public health. The program will not be able to provide all the answers to this complex issue, but should provide a unique opportunity for the ARB to participate in the initial efforts to study these complexities in a systematic way.


"The Impacts on Air Pollution from Distributed Generation of Electricity in California," Distributed Utility Associates, $98,960, Contract No. 97-326
  This study estimated the economic market potential of cost-effective distributed generation (DG) for both utilities and large commercial/industrial customers in California, for the years 2002 and 2010. The DG sources investigated were small electricity generators that use hydrocarbon-based fuels to produce electricity, and ranged from 50 kilowatts to 5 megawatts in generation capacity. Air emissions (NOx, SOx, CO, CO2, VOCs, and PM10) from each cost-effective distributed generator were then calculated, given the estimated market penetration levels found for each distributed generation. These results were compared to the air emissions that would have resulted from the existing central power generation mix only, to determine the net emission impacts for each distributed generator.


Overall, the study found that the increased use of combustion-based distributed generators would increase all emissions except SOx, when compared to the existing mix of in-state generation. However, some distributed generators are nearly as clean as, or even cleaner than, new central generation. The study also found that the economic market potential for DG, even for cost-effective applications, is likely to be modest for the next few years. This is due to a wide range of factors, such as unfamiliarity with the technologies, the reluctance of regulators to allow "wires" utilities to own and operate distributed generators, and local air quality regulations. The use of DG, however, will increase slowly as the obstacles are overcome and distributed generator technologiesí cost and performance improves.

Research Screening Committee