Shenandoah Valley Air Quality Modeling
As part of the Shenandoah Air Quality Project (SHENAIR), Virginia Tech's Air Quality Engineering research group us using an air quality model to provide science-based decision-making support to the Shenandoah Valley Air Quality Initiative. Collaborators include researchers at James Madison University and the University of Virginia.
Improvement in air quality in the Shenandoah Valley has stagnated in recent years, and levels of ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are close to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone (O3) a few days each year, and with stricter fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standards coming into effect, the valley risks exceeding those as well. Visibility is poor, and the haze obscures the spectacular vistas from the Shenandoah National Park. To solve the growing problem local governments in the valley joined forces to find economically and politically feasible ways to improve air quality. Our research group is modeling the sensitivity of various pollutants to changes in emissions. We distinguish between locally generated versus regionally transported air pollution as well as assess the impacts of proposed local air pollution control measures on ambient air quality in the valley.