The EMEP program supports research to increase the scientific understanding of the behavior, cycling, and interaction of primary and secondary pollutants related to electricity generation in the environment. The research findings allow policy makers to identify effective strategies to mitigate the impacts of energy production and use. Funded projects generally are focused on one or more goal(s):
- Improve the scientific understanding of electricity-related pollutants in the environment
- Assess the environmental impact of electricity generation relative to other sources of pollution
- Help develop approaches to mitigate impacts of electricity generation and improve environmental quality
- Increase the understanding of the role of local versus regional sources of air pollution in New York State in order for more equitable control strategies to be developed
Air Quality and Health Effects
NYSERDA’s air quality research focuses on the causes and consequences of two important atmospheric pollutants, ozone and particulate matter. With a better understanding of the issue and current research relating to it, New York’s citizens and policymakers can address the problem more effectively.
Every type of electricity or fuel production, distribution and use impacts the natural environment, although renewable energy technologies tend to be less harmful to wildlife than fossil-fuel based technologies. EMEP funds studies evaluating the environmental effects of alternative energy technologies.
In the coming decade, research initiatives addressing acid deposition and acidification will likely focus on questions of biological and chemical recovery, methods for extrapolating research findings from intensively studied sites to the larger region, and expanded monitoring to assess environmental response to changes in emissions. In the public-policy arena, a variety of policies to address acid deposition have been proposed and implemented at the state, regional, and national levels.
Few environmental issues are as divisive or ubiquitous as the topic of climate change is today. As a result of an accumulation of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, temperatures are rising and climatic patterns are changing. Climate change, also referred to as global warming, poses perhaps the most serious environmental threat to people and ecosystems around the world.
The EMEP program funds research projects which address information needs common to the topics of air quality, health, and ecosystem response. These crosscutting projects may focus on evaluating the adequacy of monitoring networks, studying the impacts of new pollution control strategies, or quantifying sources of pollutants such as nitrogen which can adversely impact both ecosystems and human health.