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The Daily Tar Heel

Research Grant to Address Air Quality

UNC's Department of Environmental Science and Engineering in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will conduct the research that will test pollutants in the air and use models to monitor pollutants' reactions in different environments.

Bridget Lowell, press secretary for Rep. David Price, D-NC, said Price realizes the pressing need for solutions to North Carolina's environmental problem.

"Congressman Price suggested that federal money be used for this research. He recognizes that air quality is an important issue in North Carolina," Lowell said.

Cass Miller, chairman of the environmental science and engineering department, said funding for this research is appropriate for North Carolina.

"Since North Carolina has one-fourth of its counties violating national air quality regulations, I think it will be beneficial to the state," Miller said.

The bill states that $1 million will be allotted for building models of environmental systems. It also calls for a $1.5 million grant for a "one atmosphere" project, where researchers will be trying to find solutions for poor air quality in the state.

Lowell said the grant will have a positive influence on North Carolina's air and water quality.

"Specifically for the 'one atmosphere' grant, it's a study that looks at all the pollutants and their impact on overall air quality," she said. "The modeling project has to do with contamination of the local air and water."

Lowell said the grant also will help the area deal with on-site research and emergencies.

"In the event of something real happening, for example, cleaning up flooded lagoons or former agricultural sites, we know what we're looking for," she said.

Miller said the money will have a big impact on the area and its students.

"The money comes to the department and the majority of it goes to graduate and some undergraduate students working on projects focused on environmental research," he said. "It will have a positive impact on the students and the department."

Lowell said Price advocates this research to ensure a normal way of life.

"(Price) has been a North Carolinian forever. He knows this is a problem people deal with every day," she said. "These issues effect their lives and where they are."

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