LOCAETA

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Project Overview

Title: Local Climate and Air Emissions Tracking Atlas

There are multiple challenges facing urban areas with heavy industrial activity. Air quality, climate change, and environmental and economic injustice in disadvantaged communities are three critical crises that can be simultaneously addressed. Many decarbonization technologies have the added co-benefit of reducing non-CO2 atmospheric pollutants, such as PM2.5, NOx, and SOx, creating a unique opportunity for identifying strategies that promote both climate change solutions and opportunities for local air quality improvement. At the same time, environmental justice (EJ) communities must be allowed to have a key role in determining the paths forward so as not to perpetuate historic discriminatory practices.

Access to real-time, high-quality local air quality data has been improving. However, short-term data do not give a complete picture of a community’s chronic exposure to atmospheric pollutants, nor do current publicly available products help to understand where their air is coming from. The impacts from making changes at specific industrial facilities to reduce or eliminate hazardous pollutants are therefore difficult for many stakeholders to quantify, from community members to regulators to public health researchers.

In response, CARBON SOLUTIONS LLC is developing the Local Climate and Air Emissions Tracking Atlas (LOCAETA), an interactive, user-friendly data platform that utilizes a suite of cutting-edge atmospheric datasets (satellite, in situ) and models to demonstrate the impact of decarbonization technologies on local air quality. As decarbonization strategies are proposed for industrial facilities across the nation, the impacts on air quality should be considered in parallel, to realize the strongest benefits to public health and climate change mitigation, while empowering communities to participate meaningfully in the process.

The LOCAETA Data Explorer will be made available to the public online. Screening-level modeling across the US will be combined with satellite and in situ sensor data to identify which industrial facilities impact communities’ airsheds. There will be multiple decarbonization options to the explore – including CCS, industrial electrification, and fuel-switching to hydrogen or other clean fuels – with corresponding air quality co-benefits calculated at the facility level and public health benefits estimated for communities across a wide geographic area. Results from the CARBON SOLUTIONS techno-economic analysis software CO2NCORD is incorporated into LOCAETA as part of the decarbonization options interface.

Lead

Carbon Solutions

Sponsor

US Department of Energy

Funding

$256,301

Timeline

2023-2024