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The Western US is perceived to have relatively pristine air, but at present the west is facing a number of significant air quality issues, including:
Urban Ozone: While ozone is being reduced in California, tougher standards are likely on their way and these may be very challenging to meet.
Background Ozone: High elevation areas in the west receive significant concentrations of ozone due to background/free tropospheric air. This will make it very hard for these regions to meet a tougher ozone standard. Does EPA have a way to account for this?
PM and ozone from wildfires: Wildfires are likely increasing in the west due to climate change. Our understanding of the PM emissions and O3 formation from wildfires is very limited.
Emissions from oil and gas production: Oil and gas activities may contribute significantly to global methane. Oil and gas activities are also responsible for significant wintertime ozone formation in some areas of the west.
Emissions from new coal and gas export activities: Exporting coal and oil from west coast ports may exacerbate PM concentrations due to diesel and coal dust emissions.
In this presentation, I will summarize our knowledge on these issues based on recent research and summarize some of the key scientific questions.
Daniel Jaffe, PhD
Chair of Physical Sciences Division
University of Washington- Bothell
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