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Regional Transport and Modeling of Air Pollutants

New Jersey’s location along the northeast corridor between the major metropolitan centers of Boston and Washington, D.C., places New Jersey at the epicenter of pollutants transported from other States. In addition, westerly winds from the Ohio River Valley and nighttime reservoirs of pollutants from southern States along the Appalachian Mountain Range have been shown to contribute to high ozone and fine particulate concentrations in New Jersey. To find out how much air pollution is transported from our neighboring States, scientific studies are conducted using special regional models (such as the CMAQ model available from the USEPA: that simulate the photochemical reactions taking place in the air to produce ozone and fine particles.

Given the complexity of these regional models, New Jersey conducts these studies in conjunction with several other States, regional planning groups, and academia. New Jersey participates in the regional modeling efforts of the Ozone Transport Commission whose primary focus is on the reductions of ozone and its precursors, NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), in order to attain the 8-hour ozone standard. New Jersey also benefits from the scientific research into ozone and fine particle chemistry being conducted at the Ozone Research Center of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey / Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center. New Jersey also participates in the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU) whose focus is on the development  of regional strategies for air pollution control to reduce visibility impairment in our nations parks and wilderness areas. Through these cooperative arrangements, the contribution of upwind and downwind States is determined and regional air pollution control strategies are proposed and developed.