research program that includes ambient air quality monitoring and sample analysis, atmospheric chemistry and pollutant formation and transport studies, source emissions characterization, and cost-effective control technology development. Where opportunities for synergism exist, the program may also address other ambient air quality issues, such as ground level ozone and mercury, and the impact of fine particulate matter on climate change.
Many ongoing health studies are attempting to define the pollutants or components of PM that have the most significant health effects and to define biological mechanisms to establish causality. In keeping with DOE's mission, the DOE-FE program does not have a health-science component, although the data collected by DOE could be of value for epidemiological and exposure studies conducted by others. The DOE-FE measurement program will also provide data on the origins of regional haze in the eastern United States (e.g., Great Smoky Mountains National Park) and elsewhere (e.g., Big Bend National Park). At the time of this review, the DOE-FE program did not include activities related to the other ambient air quality issues mentioned in the goal of the program, namely, ground-level ozone, mercury, and the impact of PM on climate change. In light of the limited budget and the challenging goal of ''ensur[ing] that the best science and technology are available for any regulatory decision-making related to the health and environmental impacts of ambient fine particulate matter and regional haze," DOE has made a prudent decision to limit its focus. However, DOE should also take into consideration cross-pollutant effects of DOE-FE programs. For example, reducing ambient PM2.5 may actually increase the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. If control technologies for reducing ambient PM2.5 (mainly reducing emissions of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen) are implemented, and if these technologies decrease the efficiency of coal-fired power plants to produce electricity, then power plants would produce more greenhouse gases per unit of electricity.
The schedule of the fine particulate research program is correlated with EPA's PM2.5 NAAQS implementation schedule. DOE's program is designed to assist in the collection and analysis of a significant volume of data over a four-year period starting in late 1998, as well as to develop emission-control strategies and technologies. The research program is focused on three main areas:
Ambient PM2.5 Sampling and Chemical Analysis. The four projects included in this area are the Upper Ohio River Valley Project (UORVP, 100 percent DOE funded), the Great Smoky Mountains National Park visibility study (26 percent DOE funded), the Aerosol Research Inhalation Epidemiology Study (ARIES) in Atlanta, Georgia (3 percent DOE funded), and a potential project at a site in Birmingham, Alabama. An ongoing study in the Birmingham area is being funded by others: a congressional mandate calls for DOE to provide $750,000 for establishing monitoring stations in the southeastern United States. These two projects could be coordinated.
Characterization of Source Emissions and of Plume/Atmospheric Chemistry Studies. The three projects in this area are: (1) the collection and analysis of primary PM2.5 emissions from the McDermott Technology, Inc., Clean Environment Development Facility in Alliance, Ohio (31 percent funded by DOE); (2) the investigation of plume and atmospheric chemistry at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Cumberland Station (25 percent funded by DOE); and (3) the development of perfluorocarbon tracer technology to determine the contributions of regional air pollution sources in the United States and Mexico to regional haze in the Big Bend National Park in Texas (5 percent funded by DOE). Research and Development on Emissions-Control Technology. A program solicitation was issued by DOE in March 1999, and proposals were being evaluated by DOE at the time of the committee's review.
The DOE has taken the lead and is the primary funding source for some of the projects identified in its research program. It has also adopted a strategy of partnering with other groups to take advantage of ongoing research studies and projects. Thus, DOE is taking an active leading role in some projects and a passive role in projects directed by other groups. In fact, DOE is a relatively minor partner in many projects, in some cases simply buying a seat at the table or access to the results. The committee's findings and recommendations for the research plan and program as a whole and for the UORVP, which is the main project