Front Range air-pollution study begins Wednesday
Last Updated: 15:13 July 14, 2014
The monthlong study will deploy specially equipped research aircraft and ground instruments to track the sources of ozone pollution in the region beginning Wednesday, July 16, and ending Aug. 16. The main study area covers the counties of Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer, Weld, Jefferson and Denver.
The area contains a mix of air-pollution sources that include transportation, power generation, oil and gas extraction, agriculture, natural vegetation and wildfires, according to a NASA statement.
Approximately 200 scientists, engineers, pilots and students will take part in the study. The project will use three planes that will fly in and out of Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield.
The campaign, called the Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment, or FRAPPE, is led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, NASA, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency, with collaboration from numerous other organizations.
The project is running parallel to NASA's larger DISCOVER-AQ project, which stands for Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality.
The Colorado study is the final stop in a series of four focused on areas across the United States that routinely experience poor air quality. Previous studies focused on the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area in 2011, the San Joaquin Valley in California and Houston in 2013.
The results are expected to provide information to decision- makers seeking to ensure that air in the region is healthy.
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