AUTC project number: 107004
Ronald A. Johnson (UAF)
Using analyzed and modeled field data on air quality and meteorology, researchers identified major contributors of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Fairbanks. This project was an effort to help the city meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air quality standards, which require reduced levels of PM2.5, a pollutant. Findings showed that during December and January, traffic is a significant contributor to PM2.5 at the bus barn on Peger Road, and motor vehicles are responsible for about 30% of PM2.5 downtown. Data on soot (black carbon) indicated that wood smoke is a significant contributor to PM2.5 during the heating season. A chemical mass balance model revealed that road dust, biomass burning (wood smoke), and motor vehicles are significant contributors to PM2.5 at the bus barn. With respect to Transportation System Management Strategies, working at home has the biggest potential to improve ambient air quality, but even if 5% of commuters worked from home, the PM2.5 downtown would be reduced by only about 0.4%. The research team concluded that Fairbanks will have to adopt major changes in its TSM strategies to effect significant reductions in downtown PM2.5 levels.