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Uintah Basin: Air Quality and Energy Development
Defining the Problem: Uintah Basin 2012 Winter Ozone Study
During the winter of 2011-2012 Phase One of a comprehensive study was undertaken in the Uintah Basin to identify how atmospheric chemistry and precursor gases interact to create high levels of wintertime ozone. The study, Uintah Basin 2012 Winter Ozone Study, is by far the largest and most complex air quality study ever conducted in Utah. The phases of the nearly $3 million effort are being funded by a number of agencies, including the Uintah Basin Impact Mitigation Special Service District, Western Energy Alliance, Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Utah Office, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8. Significant in-kind equipment contributions have also come from the State of Utah, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and University of Colorado at Boulder.
Cooperative research work was done by atmospheric research partners from Utah State University, NOAA's Chemical Sciences and Global Monitoring Divisions, University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Utah Division of Air Quality, EPA, BLM, and local oil and gas producing members of the Western Energy Alliance.
2011-2012 Uintah Basin Air Quality Team
Unfavorable conditions on the ground, specifically a lack of snow cover and inversion producing weather, resulted in limited data collection. Preliminary results and conclusions can be found in the 2012 Uintah Basin Winter Ozone and Air Quality.
The final report for the 2011-2012 study has been compiled and available online.
Phase Two of the study is underway through the winter of 2013. Data collected will build on the findings from 2012 with the goal of developing a conceptual model of how wintertime ozone is formed in the basin and to identify appropriate and effective air pollution mitigation strategies.
NOAA Monitoring Van