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The School of Energy Resources’ Center for Air Quality (CAQ) is involved in research concerning emissions from oil and gas exploration and production activities. The CAQ seeks to strengthen the accuracy of engineering calculations of emissions by ground truth with a variety of measurement platforms, including a dedicated mobile laboratory.
Since 2009 UW researchers have investigated the importance of emissions in the Upper Green River Basin, particularly in the Jonah Field and Pinedale Anticline development areas. This work has resulted in numerous academic publications and has supported state-led efforts to better understand wintertime ozone formation and basin-wide emissions of methane.
The aim of the Air Quality Center is to understand the relationship between energy development and air quality. We do this by making in-situ measurements from mobile, static and airborne platforms with state of the art instrumentation. These data are used to modify and validate emission inventories and models to improve our understanding of complex air quality issues such as ozone formation, volatile organic compound behavior, and methane emissions. Our research is conducted in collaboration with industry, federal and state agencies, national laboratories, research universities, and non-profits. The results are used to inform citizens, industry, and the scientific community and to educate students. The vision of the Air Quality Center is to provide the knowledge needed to enable energy development while minimizing air quality impacts. Our research of emission sources informs policies for compliance with existing and pending air regulations.