Research Screening Committee Meeting
November 3, 2000

This page updated July 12, 2005.

State of California


Research Screening Committee Meeting

Cal/EPA Headquarters Building
1001 I Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-0753

November 3, 2000
9:00 a.m.



"Collection and Analysis of Weekend / Weekday Activity Data in the South Coast Air Basin," RFP No. 00-313
  Over the past two decades, analysis of ambient air monitoring data has revealed that ambient ozone concentrations are elevated on weekends in comparison to weekdays, a so-called "weekend / weekday effect" (WE / WD effect), for many monitoring sites. Several hypotheses have been advanced to explain this phenomenon, including the influence of differences in human activities on weekends compared to weekdays. The objective of this project is to collect anthropogenic activity data to support further analysis of the WE / WD effect and improve activity estimates for the emissions inventory. Specifically, on-road and off-road mobile source and stationary source activity data would be collected and analyzed for a modeling domain that encompasses the South Coast Air Basin. These data will not only serve to improve the emissions inventory, but they will also aid in further ARB analyses of the WE / WD effect.


"Improvements for Emissions Inventories for Industrial Coatings and Thinning and Cleanup Solvents," $350,000, RFP 00-3
  The ARB's existing inventories for industrial coatings and the solvents used for the thinning and cleanup of both industrial and architectural coatings are based on incomplete and obsolete data. This study will produce a new emissions inventory for these source classes. Surveys will be used to acquire the data, and the new inventories will be accompanied by speciation profiles for several categories of coatings and solvents. Emissions will be resolved on a two-kilometer grid and adjusted according to the time of day and day of the week. An inventory updating methodology will also be developed. Three responses were received.


"Collection of Evaporative Emissions Data from Off-Road Equipment," $300,000, RFP 00-4
  The objective of this study is to collect evaporative emissions data from gasoline-powered off-road equipment, for inclusion in the ARB's emissions inventory model, OFFROAD. This project will require evaporative emissions testing of off-road equipment from various categories for diurnal/resting loss emissions, hot soak emissions, and evaporative running loss emissions under real-world conditions. Exhaust emissions will also be collected. In addition, the effect of fuel level, refueling, fuel weathering, fuel type, and the use of emission control technology will be investigated. The
in-use population includes primarily lawn and garden, marine, recreational vehicle, and commercial equipment. The procedures to test off-road equipment for evaporative emissions are borrowed from existing on-road test procedures; hence, the need for sealed housing for evaporative determination (SHED) is anticipated. However, the project is also expected to include development and implementation of modifications to these test procedures to account for differences between automobiles and off-road equipment. Three responses were received.


"Development of a Test Method to Measure Stationary and Portable Engine Emissions," $300,000,
RFP 00-6
  The objective of this project is to develop a cost-effective in-the-field test method for stationary and portable diesel and gasoline engines. Once approved, this method would be used to determine compliance with State and federal emission standards for newly manufactured off-road engines and, to a lesser extent, emission limits established by the Statewide Portable Equipment Registration Program. The targeted population includes engines from about 40 horsepower (hp) to more than 2000 hp, with the majority having a maximum rating of 250 hp or less. The development of a surrogate I/M-type test method to measure in-use emissions (NOx, PM10, CO, and HC) that can be compared to the equipment manufacturer's emissions data and/or correlated to the applicable ISO 8178 certification test procedure is necessary. The method would allow assessment of emission reductions achieved through technology and emission limit requirements established by State and federal ambient air quality standards. As stationary and portable engines are tested with the newly developed method, ARB staff will be able to provide representative emissions estimates for the statewide emissions inventory and support for the recently approved diesel risk reduction plan. One response was received.


"Environmental Health Conditions in Portable Classrooms," $675,000, RFP 00-5
  There has never been a comprehensive statewide assessment of the indoor environmental conditions in California schools. The limited information available indicates that some indoor environmental conditions in portable classrooms potentially put children at risk of serious health impacts. The proposed study will obtain data on portable classrooms in California such as, the number, type, age, condition, location, ventilation system, classroom cleaning and maintenance practices. Measurements of indoor volatile organic chemicals, particles, biological pollutants, carbon monoxide, and other building-related factors will also be taken. Study results will be used to: 1) assess the potential for adverse health impacts from environmental conditions and toxic pollutants that may be present in portable classrooms and 2) identify effective actions that can be taken to remedy or prevent any unhealthful conditions. Three responses were received.


"Oxgenated Organics in Gas and Fine Particle - Diesel Emissions for Source Apportionment," University of California, Davis, $250,000, Proposal No. 2469-217
  Both gas-phase and particle emissions from diesel engines are significant contributors to California's air pollution. Dynamometer studies have provided some information about the chemical composition of diesel emissions. However, the dilution techniques used in dynamometer studies affect the particle size and mass and the load or testcycle can affect the chemical composition of the emissions. For these reasons, characterization of 'real world' diesel emissions is urgently needed. In addition, preliminary data indicate that some oxygenated organic compounds  may be unique components of diesel exhaust . Therefore, research is also needed to assess whether specific chemicals or signature patterns of chemicals can serve as tracers of diesel emissions for source apportionment. This project will develop and test a sampling method to measure carbonyls, multifunctional carbonyls, and carboxylic acids in both the gas phase and PM2.5. This method will then be used to sample emissions in the heavy- and light-duty bores of the Caldecott tunnel and test diesel engines at the ARB Heavy-Duty Emissions Testing Laboratory. The results will provide insights into the gas and fine particulate matter distribution of these pollutants in 'real world' emissions. They will also verify whether oxygenated organic compounds may serve as tracers for source apportionment of diesel exhaust.


"Development and Application of an Ambient Aerosol Concentrator and Exposure Facility: The Conduct of Inhalation Studies to Assess the Health Effects of Particulate Matter in the Los Angeles Basin," University of California, Los Angeles, $539,229, Proposal No. 2470-217
  There is substantial evidence to indicate that exposure to particulate matter (PM) in ambient California air causes detrimental health effects. This proposal is for Year 2 in a 5-year program designed to develop and implement a fully transportable exposure facility, capable of collecting concentrated coarse, fine, and ultrafine ambient particles from different sites in the Los Angeles air basin. Goals for Year 2 include the development of facilities for human exposure studies, including a coarse concentrator, and freeway emissions studies, using an animal asthma model exposed to concentrated fine and ultrafine PM. Additional animal inhalation and in-vitro studies will be performed at a Children's Health Study site. A mobile Particle Instrumentation Unit (provided by the U.S. EPA) will be used to acquire a precise characterization of PM. This investigation is a multicampus effort, involving the University of California campuses at Los Angeles and Irvine and the University of Southern California. The interaction of these three campuses and the coordination of the ARB-funded studies with the programs for the Children's Health Study and the Southern California Particle Center and Supersite significantly strengthens this proposal. A brief summary of the efforts of Year 1 are discussed under the Final Report section of this document.


"Demonstration of Ozone Impacts on Crop Species in the San Joaquin Valley: Open Top Chambers at Kearny Agricultural Center," University of California, Davis, $145,301, Proposal No. 2471-217
  The objective of this proposed demonstration project is to establish an eight-unit crop-plant / air pollution exposure exhibit at the Kearney Agricultural Center (KAC) in Parlier. Open top field chambers, the same type used in State and federal crop loss assessment programs, will be used to demonstrate the effects of ambient ozone to the thousands of visitors that tour the KAC each year. The exhibit will be operated for three years, using potted plants in Year 1 and plants grown in the ground in Years 2 and 3. Printed materials about the effects of air pollution on crops will be developed for target audiences (e.g., school children) in conjunction with a website for broad-scale dissemination of plant effects information and other research findings. This project would serve to increase public awareness of the effects air pollution has on plants and the need to support measures aimed at attaining State and federal ambient air quality standards to protect humanhealth and welfare.


"Identification of Target Bioallergens: Prevalence of Specific Aeroallergen Sensitization in the Sacramento Region," University of California, Davis, $10,919, Proposal No. 2474-217
  The incidence of respiratory diseases, especially asthma, appears to be on the rise nationwide. However, data on the influence of aeroallergens on the causes, prevalence, and incidence of respiratory disease in California is extremely limited. This study is a retrospective medical patient chart review that will assist in assessing the relative importance of aeroallergens to total ambient air quality and the impacts of these allergens on patients with asthma. It will also provide data on the most important allergens to consider in future studies of aeroallergen impact on air quality and public health. With improved data, decision-makers can better gauge the full extent of these diseases and the scope of measures needed to reduce the associated costs. This information will be particularly useful to efforts targeting the protection of population subgroups that may be at a greater risk of
air pollution-related health effects relating to biologic sensitivity and/or the potential for greater exposure.


"Detailed Characterization of Indoor and Personal Particulate Matter Concentrations," Harvard, $599,145, Proposal No. 2472-217
  Understanding the relationship between PM concentrations recorded at monitoring stations and a person's actual PM exposure is essential in developing control measures to adequately protect public health, and is recognized by the National Academy of Science as a major research priority. The primary objective of this proposed study is to characterize, in detail, the contribution of outdoor particles to both indoor and personal PM2.5 exposures. The investigators propose to continuously or semi-continuously monitor PM2.5, its major components, and air exchange rates at the homes of healthy subjects for nine consecutive days. Integrated 24-hour measurements of personal, indoor, and outdoor PM2.5, its components, and gaseous co-pollutants would also be measured. The investigators would determine the influence of specific sources and activities on personal indoor levels and exposures. Source emission rates and particle penetration and deposition rates would also be estimated. ARB would use the study results to improve estimates of indoor and personal exposures to PM from different sources, and to develop effective strategies for reducing PM exposures. This study would complement a nearly completed study of PM exposure in lung-disease patients, which the ARB and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) have funded, and similar U.S. EPA studies in Boston and Atlanta. U.S. EPA has also agreed to provide additional funding for expanded work.


"NARSTO Particulate Matter Science and Policy Needs Assessment: Chapter 5. Spatial and Temporal Characterization," ENVAIR, $14,959, Proposal No. 2473-217
  Particulate air pollution has recently been implicated in increased mortality. To help evaluate this serious concern,  North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO) is developing an assessment of fine particulate matter air pollution. Their goal is to develop a state-of-the-science assessment report to aid government agencies in the development of management strategies for reducing the risks of adverse health effects from exposure to PM. This proposal will support the preparation of a chapter on the spatial and temporal characterization of PM for the NARSTO PM Assessment; and one or more accompanying scientific review papers for publication in peer-review literature. Evaluation from a California perspective will be an integral part of the assessment, with case studies that will include both southern and central California. Specific issues bearing on PM management in California will be addressed, including evaluation of information on global background PM levels and hemispheric (including trans-Pacific Ocean) PM transport; California as both a source and receptor region for interstate and international (California - Mexico) PM transport; and emission control approaches that are effective for fine PM dominated by nitrate and carbon compounds. The final document will provide a firm scientific foundation to support regulatory action and will be structured to address air quality policy goals, with extensive review by nationally and internationally recognized scientists.


"Measurement of Ammonia Fluxes in an Artificially Released Plume by NOAA / ETL Mini-MOPA Lidar," National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, $171,593, Contrat No. 98-329
  Understanding the formation and transport of secondary aerosol particles is important for controlling PM2.5 pollution in California. Ammonia is one of the most important gas-phase precursors of ammonium nitrate, a significant component of PM2.5. However, measuring ammonia emissions is difficult, since they may be distributed in varying concentrations and / or layers over wide areas, from the surface to several hundred meters above the ground. Using a remote-sensing device, ammonia emissions from complex sources, such as cattle feedlots or fertilized fields, can be more completely characterized. Remote sensing can also be used for measuring ammonia concentrations throughout the mixed layer in an area encompassing several kilometers.
  This interim report marks the completion of Phase I of a two-phase project. In Phase I, the investigators from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) demonstrated the capability of their mini-MOPA lidar to remotely sense ammonia during a local test, before being deployed in California for Phase II of the project. Results indicate that the NOAA lidar, using a weak ammonia absorption line, can map strong ammonia sources. Phase II will commence after ARB gives approval for continuation of project funding and will use the lidar to measure three-dimensional distributions of facility-specific and ambient concentrations of ammonia during a two-week field experiment in central California during winter 2000. Results from this study will greatly improve overall understanding of the sources, sinks, and transport of ammonia, and the relationship between ammonia and aerosol at heights well above the ground level. This information will be very useful for aerosol pollution control in central California and elsewhere.


"Mechanisms of Particulate Toxicity: Effects on the REspiratory System," University of California, Davis, $895,000, Contract No. 96-310
  The health effects caused by exposure to ambient levels of particulates continue to be of primary concern to scientists, regulators, and the general public. There is a substantial body of evidence to indicate that exposure to particulate air pollutants can cause cardiopulmonary heath effects, including premature death, although the mechanisms by which particulates exert their influence are largely unknown. This study was designed to examine some of the possible mechanisms of particulate toxicity. The effect of short-term exposures to two common components of California particulates, ammonium nitrate and carbon, were studied in the respiratory tract of rats. Young, adult, and old rats were exposed to three different concentrations of the particulate components. The responses demonstrated the ability of particulate exposure to cause alterations in cell permeability, cytotoxicity, and cellular proliferation in the respiratory tract of healthy rats. The adult and old rats were significantly effected by the intermediate concentration of particulate components and the young animals were most effected by the high concentration. This investigation indicates to need for further study, using animal models to clarify the mechanisms of particulate toxicity. Such information is vital to the development of effective regulatory measures to protect public health.


"Demonstration of a Fast Response On-Board NOx Sensor for Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles," Southwest Research Institute, $348,133, Contract No. 98-302
  The California State Implementation Plan for Ozone calls for significant reductions in the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions generated by on-road heavy-duty vehicles. A primary method for achieving these reductions will be the incorporation of new and optimizing technologies into new diesel engine designs. One component under development by several manufacturers is a fast response, real-time NOx sensor. Such a sensor will have a response time and accuracy conducive to implementation into an engine control system for direct closed loop feedback control of NOx emissions. For a diesel engine, feedback from such a device could be used for manipulation of control variables, such as fuel injection timing and rate, exhaust gas recirculation rate, water injection rate, or reductant delivery rate to an aftertreatment device. This study was conducted to determine the suitability and performance characteristics of fast response NOx sensors designed for use on heavy-duty diesel vehicles. Four examples of one sensor model were tested on a laboratory engine dynamometer to evaluate performance and on two in-use heavy-duty diesel trucks, over an extended period, to evaluate durability. The sensors met the manufacturer's accuracy criteria, but demonstrated modest calibration shifts in-use. With further development, these sensors will be able to provide real-time NOx measurement information for feedback NOx control on production vehicles.


"Indoor Air Quality: Residential Cooking Exposures," ARCADIS, $299,932, Contract No. 97-330
  For PM and several other pollutants, cooking activities have been found to be a major source of personal exposure and indoor pollution in homes. This is the first comprehensive study of cooking exposures and emissions in a home environment. The investigator characterized emission rates and measured resultant indoor pollutant levels near gas and electric stoves during a wide variety of typical cooking activities in a test home. Substantial elevations of indoor concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, and real-time PM (40 nm to 10 mm), aldehydes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and elements were observed for both gas and electric stoves, in both typical and worst-case conditions. Substantial elevations of indoor carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and nitric oxide were observed for gas stoves and, to a lesser degree, for electric stoves. Exposure reduction methods, such as range hood exhausts and range side shields, varied in their effectiveness in reducing indoor pollutant levels. The ARB will use the study results to better understand the contributions of residential cooking activities to indoor and personal exposures to PM and its co-pollutants, and to provide guidance on ways to most effectively reduce those exposures.


"Refinement of Selected Fuel Cycle Emissions Analyses," ARCADIS, $124,215, Contract No. 98-338
  The ARB's Low-Emission Vehicle and Clean Fuels regulations give manufacturers the option of using clean alternative fuels to help their vehicles meet increasingly stringent emissions standards, with less need for control hardware than conventionally fueled vehicles. In 1996, Acurex (subsequently ARCADIS Geraghty & Miller, and now Arthur D. Little, Inc.) evaluated the fuel-cycle emissions of nine vehicle fuels, calculating emissions from four categories of the fuel-cycle process: extraction, production, marketing, and distribution. Oxides of nitrogen,
non-methane organic gas, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and toxics emissions were quantified for each vehicle fuel. Three fuels were estimated to have fuel-cycle emissions close to electric vehicles (EVs): diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas for internal-combustion vehicles, and methanol, which can be used for
fuel-cell-powered vehicles. In this study, the contractor refined the analysis for these three fuels, and also reassessed the emissions associated with EVs, taking into consideration the new deregulated environment. The study focused on the South Coast Air Basin; the South Coast Air Quality Management District co-funded this study. The emissions data resulting from this study will be used to compare fuel-cycle emissions for these three fuels to the emissions associated with electricity generation for EVs and provide appropriate regulatory credit.


"Development of and Exposure Facility to Conduct Inhalation Studies to Ambient Aerosals, Year 1," University of California, Los Angeles, $557,369, Contract No. 98-316
  Exposure to airborne PM has been associated with adverse health effects, such as respiratory disease, and death. However, it is difficult to determine what combination or interaction of the complex mixture of physical, chemical, and biological components that constitute PM may contribute to these health concerns, due to the difficulty of acquiring samples of suspended whole particles in a condition closely representative of that found in ambient air. This collaborative effort by UCLA and USC investigators is providing the foundation for obtaining whole suspended ambient particles and directly studying the associated adverse health effects. In Year 1 of this planned
five-year project, investigators improved and validated the Versatile Aerosol Concentration Enrichment System (VACES), a device to concentrate ambient fine, ultrafine, and coarse particles. A transportable exposure facility was then developed to provide "on-site" capabilities for studying the toxicological effects of ambient PM and a companion sampler to collect the particulate matter for future laboratory (in vitro) studies was developed and characterized. This lays the groundwork for the proposed Year 2 objectives -- the development of facilities for animal and human exposure studies and freeway emissions studies. The information provided by this project will assist the Board in reviewing ambient air quality standards for public health risks associated with airborne PM, specifically PM10.

Research Screening Committee