Regional impacts of oil and gas development on ozone formation in the western United States
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association
Taylor & Francis
The Intermountain West is currently experiencing increased growth in oil and gas production, which has the potential to affect the visibility and air quality of various Class I areas in the region. The following work presents an analysis of these impacts using the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (CAMx). CAMx is a state-of-the-science, “one-atmosphere” Eulerian photochemical dispersion model that has been widely used in the assessment of gaseous and particulate air pollution (ozone, fine [PM2.5], and coarse [PM10] particulate matter). Meteorology and emissions inventories developed by the Western Regional Air Partnership Regional Modeling Center for regional haze analysis and planning are used to establish an ozone baseline simulation for the year 2002. The predicted range of values for ozone in the national parks and other Class I areas in the western United States is then evaluated with available observations from the Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET). This evaluation demonstrates the model’s suitability for subsequent planning, sensitivity, and emissions control strategy modeling. Once the ozone baseline simulation has been established, an analysis of the model results is performed to investigate the regional impacts of oil and gas development on the ozone concentrations that affect the air quality of Class I areas. Results indicate that the maximum 8-hr ozone enhancement from oil and gas (9.6 parts per billion [ppb]) could affect southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. Class I areas in this region that are likely to be impacted by increased ozone include Mesa Verde National Park and Weminuche Wilderness Area in Colorado and San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area, Bandelier Wilderness Area, Pecos Wilderness Area, and Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area in New Mexico.
Rodriguez, M. A., M. G. Barna, and T. Moore. 2009. Regional impacts of oil and gas development on ozone formation in the western United States Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 59:1111-1118.
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