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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Investigating the Environmental Chemistry Fate and Transport of Agrochemicals and Other Pollutants
2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Determine the dominant chemical and physical processes controlling the fate of agriculturally relevant chemicals in the environment using measurements of fundamental chemical properties, field collection to measure ambient pollutant levels, and improvement of existing environmental fate models as a means to develop new management practices.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
This project will build on existing cooperative research projects with the University of Maryland Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Through our combined efforts, we will build and carry out research on three major projects. The first will involve studies of manure byproducts, their mitigation and fate, focusing initially on veterinary wastes, including anti-microbials; the second will be to determine the movement and impact of atmospherically transported chemicals and odoriferous compounds on the environment and the third will be to investigate the environmental fate of other personal care products that occur in urban and agricultural products. This work will include laboratory studies of fundamental chemical and physical properties, controlled laboratory studies to measure degradation rates and partition coefficients under environmentally relevant conditions, small-scale and large-scale field measurements of ambient pollutant concentrations, and utilization of these data in predictive modeling efforts and development of predictive models.


3.Progress Report

As part of this cooperative agreement, the principal investigator and collaborators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, have cooperated in three main thrusts of research with partial funds from projects with the Maryland Water Resources Research Center at the University of Maryland, and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DCWASA). One of the main thrusts was to continue our research to assess the influence of animal farm operations on water and air quality, where we studied the effect of poultry houses on water quality parameters in the Eastern Shore of Maryland’s Choptank Watershed and where we are developing fourier transformed infrared-red methodologies to characterize airborne particles, especially in elucidating their atmospheric half life and transport. In our cooperation with DCWASA, we have continued the work on polybrominated diephenyl ether flame retardants and extended the work on two antibacterial agents, Triclosan and Triclocarban, which are found in commercial and household products. In addition, cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has continued to determine the presence of alkyl phenols and antibacterial chemicals in fish and bird samples. All of this research has involved the University of Maryland research faculty, three Agricultural Research Service researchers and a series of graduate and undergraduate students. Monitoring of the project activities has been carried out through frequent discussions and interactions with students mentored under this agreement. Monthly meetings are held with the principal investigator from the University of Maryland in addition to frequent contact through email exchanges, phone calls and site visits.


Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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