The Clean Air Act and concern for global climate change require the mandatory and voluntary control of fine dust particulates and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Air quality standards have been established for PM10 (particulate matter less than or equal to 10 microns in diameter) and communities in the Columbia Plateau have exceeded and/or continue to exceed the PM10 standard as a result of windblown dust originating from agricultural fields. The contribution of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activities to the rise of gas concentrations in the atmosphere is largely unknown and may represent either a source or sink in terms of these gaseous emissions.
Sustainable land management strategies are needed within the Columbia Plateau region to reduce PM10 and greenhouse gas emissions. Our research in air resources will identify land management strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the entire region and reduce PM10 emissions in the drier part of the region where wheat-fallow is the conventional rotation.
Unit Scientists involved in project
David Huggins, Lead Scientist