HARC’s work in Air Quality research and management includes air quality modeling, emission reduction technologies, emissions monitoring technology and policy, and regional impacts of and adaptations to climate change. Our air research program is multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, objective and non-partisan. Our work on air issues synthesizes rigorous research and policy assessment in a dynamic way that has become a HARC trademark in the region.
Projects & Programs
The Benzene and other Toxics Exposure (BEE‐TEX) Study is a field study of exposure to and source attribution of the air toxics: benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes (BTEX), as well as other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) such as formaldehyde and 1,3-butadiene.
HARC is developing a detailed particulate matter (PM) 2.5 emissions inventory for Harris County, Texas. PM is a type pollution composed of a complex mixture of extremely small particles. The size of particles is linked to their potential for causing health-related problems. PM 2.5 refers to fine particles that pose considerable health risks for respiratory and cardiovascular illness.
HARC is working with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to identify inexpensive methane sensors that can be deployed in a variety of oil and gas operations to rapidly identify and facilitate repair of natural gas leaks. This will allow for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in an industry that is extremely important to Texas, the U.S.
HARC is working to help local communities improve air quality and quality of life. HARC is partnering with the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) to train community members living near petrochemical facilities to take measurements of air toxics using monitoring tools that are typically used by environmental regulatory enforcement agencies.