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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


2013 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 Specific Cooperative Agreement (SCA), the Principle Investigator (PI) and collaborators at ARS, have cooperated in three main thrusts of research with partial funds from ARS and co-PI projects through the Maryland Water Resources Research Center, and the DC-Water and Sewer Authority (DC-Water). One of the main thrusts of this SCA funded through ARS, was to continue research to assess the influence of animal farm operations on water and air quality. We have studied the effect of agricultural operations like poultry production on water quality in the Choptank watershed. We have also developed novel methods to characterize the sources of fine particulates emitted agricultural operations. Additional cooperative research with with DC-Water, facilitated by the University of Maryland PI, has led to new discoveries on the fate and persistence of brominated flame retardants and household antimicrobial comopounds in soils that have received biosolids applications. Additional research has been conducted to examine the fate of surfactant compounds and and antibacterial chemicals in fish and bird samples. All of this research has involved the PI, a University of Maryland research faculty member, three ARS researchers and a series of graduate and undergraduate students.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/28/2017
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