EPA Awards Multimillion-Dollar Contract To Carolina To Protect Air Quality
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment has been awarded a seven-year contract worth up to $10.2 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to continue and expand operations of its Center for Community Air Quality Modeling and Analysis.
Established in 2001, the EPA’s center has been hosted at Carolina since 2003 and works with the agency to lead the international, open-source, community-based air quality modeling and analysis software used to evaluate and propose regulations. The extended funding allows the center to continue and expand the scope of its work in these vital environmental and human health areas.
“UNC is a national hub for studying and protecting air quality,” said Terry Magnuson, vice chancellor for research. “This continued partnership with the EPA is a testament to the valuable role our research centers and institutes play at UNC—translating research into practical good for societal benefit.”
Since its inception, the center’s environmental and air quality models, have been used by regulatory offices at the EPA, as well as state governments, academics, businesses, industries, federal agencies and the international community. It has grown to serve more than 5,000 registered users in more than 90 countries.
“The growing and vibrant user community of these tools has not only helped promote scientific transparency regarding the models used in regulatory applications, but it is also helping evolve the modeling systems through contributions from the broader external environmental modeling community,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, director of the EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory.
Through the center, scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment have developed a largely participant-funded training program covering air quality and emissions models. The center’s trainings are conducted on campus, online and at national and international sites.
“Protecting air quality for human health and the environment is paramount,” said Adel Hanna, a research professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill institute who leads the center. “We will continue to enhance existing capabilities while, as required by the contract, we continue to develop new ones.”
The center also hosts an annual conference that brings together leading air quality scientists from all over the world. The 15th annual conference is Oct. 24-26, 2016, at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education. For more information on the center and the annual conference, visit cmascenter.org.