Air Quality

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The Department of Defense conducts military training and testing activities on approximately 30 million acres of land throughout the nation. Some of these lands are far removed from other human inhabitants, while others are in close proximity to populated areas. Through the conduct of its mission and land management activities, DoD is a source for a number of fugitive air emissions that are under regulatory control. SERDP and ESTCP investments are focused on developing and demonstrating technologies and methods to characterize and monitor DoD’s fugitive dust and fire emissions, predict their dispersion and contributions to local and regional air quality, and assess and reduce their environmental impacts. Areas of focus include the following:

Fugitive Dust 

Military training and testing ranges have the potential for considerable dust emissions generated by mechanical disturbance and by wind erosion of surface materials, especially in areas where the ground surface is regularly disturbed. Sources include unpaved roads, trails and staging areas, and munitions impact areas at weapons ranges. Significant amounts of dust may be deposited within the near-field environment or transported outside the installation boundary. SERDP and ESTCP projects focus on improving the understanding of, and developing appropriate tools and models for, the characterization, monitoring, modeling, impact assessment, and mitigation of fugitive dust emissions. Investments involve improving emission models to address wheeled and tracked vehicle fugitive dust emissions, improving understanding of near-field deposition, and developing scientifically-based monitoring approaches.

Fire Emissions 

Prescribed burning is a critical component of the management of many military lands. SERDP and ESTCP investments focus on the following:

  • Characterizing fuel types, fuel loadings, and consumption estimates across a variety of fire-adapted ecological systems
  • Characterizing the air emissions of each of these fuel types under both flaming and smoldering conditions with respect to particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and reactive gases
  • Modeling the contributions of burning to regional air quality relative to other sources
  • Comparing the effects of prescribed burning to that of wildfires

FY 2017 New Start Project Selections

FY 2018 New Start Project Selections for the Environmental Solicitation – SERDP; ESTCP

SERDP and ESTCP Report:
Fire Science Strategy (2014)
 

Workshop Report:
State of Fire Behavior Models and their Application to Ecosystem and Smoke Management Issues (2014)
 

Workshop Report:
Research Needs for Assessment and Management of Non-Point Air Emissions from DoD Activities (2008)
 

Tools and Training

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