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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #425377

Research Project: Investigating the Environmental Fate and Transport of Agriculturally Related Pollutant Emissions

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-66000-001-06-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 20, 2013
End Date: Aug 31, 2018

Determine the chemical and physical processes controlling the fate of agricultural pollutant emissions in the environment by measuring their fundamental chemical properties, developing innovative sampling techniques, conducting sampling of ambient pollutant levels and emissions, and improving existing environmental fate models as a means to develop new management practices.

This project will build on existing cooperative research with the University of Maryland Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Short and long-term experiments will be conducted to examine the fate and transport of agriculturally-related pollutants, pesticides; veterinary pharmaceuticals; personal care products; particulate matter; volatile organic compounds (VOCs); nutrients; and tracers of urban pollution across the agricultural-urban interface and through the environmental compartments (air, water, soil, and biota). Much of this latter work will be conducted within the lower Chesapeake Bay region along an agricultural-urban transect and will include laboratory studies of fundamental chemical and physical properties, controlled laboratory studies to measure degradation rates and partition coefficients under environmentally relevant conditions, collection of field samples, and utilization of these data in predictive modeling efforts and risk analysis. New measurement strategies and techniques such as passive samplers and sensor technologies will be developed and tested that are more sensitive and efficient and less costly. Emphasis will be placed on the examination and improvement of agricultural management practices to protect environmental quality; use of GIS technologies to interpret results from a landscape perspective. Results will be communicated to the scientific community, producers, regulators, resource managers, and to the public through presentations, manuscripts, web-based documents, social media, and presentations to producer and other stakeholder groups.