Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

and coordination of environmental research and development occurs across a dozen cabinet level agencies, several of which subsume strong subagency activities, as well as a number of separate White House offices. In developing FY 1996 goals, CENR sought extensive consultation from outside the Executive Branch (e.g., from Congress, from interest groups, from the public at large). The whole report was subject to outside peer review. Such consultations emphasized the need for competitive awards, strengthened academic research, merit review, and international cooperation.

For our purposes it is useful to examine several of the individual research areas:

CENR Goal: Air Quality

The goal of the federal air quality research program is to help protect human health and the environment from air pollution by providing the scientific and technical information needed to evaluate options for improving air quality in timely and cost-effective ways.

The discussion of air quality begins with reference to the legislated mandates to produce assessments and make important policy and regulatory decisions within the coming years. Emphasis is given to ground-level ozone, acidic deposition, airborne particles, toxic compounds, and visibility. In addition, concerns are raised about the quality of indoor air.

The current research program is characterized as including

  1. long-term observations and analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of recent regulatory initiatives;

  2. identification of emerging health or environmental problems;

  3. characterization of the processes involved in air quality changes; and

  4. assessment of the state of knowledge on air quality issues.

Two topics are listed as areas for enhanced emphasis:

  1. understanding the formation of ground-level ozone in urban and rural areas and

  2. characterizing the health impacts of airborne fine particles.

Seven milestones are listed for the period 1995–1998. These typically involve completing particular studies ranging from on-the-ground efforts to national assessments. Overall, CENR proposes that air quality research receive an increase in funding for FY 1996.

CENR Goal: Global Change

The goal of global change research is to observe and document global environmental changes and identify their causes, predict the responses of the

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement