Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/9/2010
Publication Date: 4/1/2010
Citation: Whitelock, D.P., Boykin Jr, J.C., Buser, M.D., Holt, G.A. 2010. CHARACTERIZATION OF COTTON GIN PARTICULATE MATTER EMISSIONS – FIRST YEAR. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. p 709-718. 2010 CD.
Interpretive Summary: In 2006, the United State Environmental Protection Agency implemented a more stringent air quality standard for very fine dust. All cotton gins will eventually be impacted by this standard. The primary issues affecting the cotton industry across the country in regards to the implementation of the standard are that very little scientifically sound information is available on cotton gin emissions of this very fine dust, that some recent research indicates that current EPA sampling methods could be over-estimating cotton gin emissions by 14 times, and that studies have shown that EPA recommended dispersion models used by the states could be over-predicting cotton gin boundary line concentrations by as much as a factor of 10. In response to these issues, a four-year industry-supported study to evaluate cotton gin dust emissions at several gins at locations across the cotton belt was begun by the three USDA-ARS Cotton Ginning Laboratories. During 2009, the first full year of the sampling campaign, three gins were extensively sampled in Texas and California and over 5800 samples and data from four gins were processed and analyzed.
Technical Abstract: Due to EPA’s implementation of more stringent standards for particulate matter with an effective diameter less than 2.5 microns, the cotton ginners’ associations across the cotton belt, including the National, Texas, Southern, Southeastern, and California associations, agreed that there is an urgent need to collect gin emission data. The primary issues surrounding particulate matter regulations for cotton ginning industry are: 1) limited or lack of PM2.5 data; 2) potential over-prediction of current dispersion models; and 3) effects of sampler errors. In response to the gin association’s requests, a cotton gin particulate matter emissions sampling project, “Characterization of Cotton Gin Particulate Matter Emissions”, was planned by USDA-ARS researchers, the Gin Associations, and State and Federal Regulators. During 2009, the first full year of the sampling campaign, three gins were extensively sampled in Texas and California and over 5800 samples and data from four gins were processed and analyzed.