Abbreviated Objectives of the

Northwest Columbia Plateau Wind Erosion/Air Quality Project


1)   Develop low and moderate resolution base data for the Columbia Plateau in GIS format necessary to describe major input variables suh as climate, soil, vegetation and farming practices required to estimate agricultural wind erosion and PM10 particulate emissions.


2)   Establish the theory, quantification, and verification of simultaneous wind erosion and PM10 fluxes on agricultural lands in the Columbia Plateau with data from several intensively instrumented agricultural field sites and a portable wind tunnel for calibration of the USDA National Wind Erosion Prediction System.


3)      Obtain, test and evaluate air mass transport-dispersion-deposition models suitable to predict PM10 concentrations over the Columbia Plateau from spatially-distributed agricultural emission sources.


4)      Develop a PM10 air quality inventory for wind erosion events in the Columbia Plateau region and the probable urban impacts utilizing results and methods of objectives 1, 2, and 3.


5)      Identify and test wind erosion and PM10 emission control methods of alternative cropping systems (tillage, crops, rotation, weed control, etc.), and evaluate their effectiveness through descriptive measurements and portable wind tunnel tests.


6)      Use data developed in objectives 1, 2, and 3 to appropriately reclassify suspect areas as Highly Erodible Lands (HEL) for control through the Food Security Act (FSA) assistance and develop strategy with USDA-SCS to set FSA criteria for on-farm compliance and assistance.


7)      Determine the relative impact of human activity on suspended dust and PM10 emission rates in the Columbia Plateau by determining erosion rates for non-anthropogenic and anthropogenic areas on a regional basis plus estimating pre-human erosion rates for soils during high wind events.


8)      Develop awareness and increased understanding by both rural and urban populations in the Columbia Plateau through educational materials, programs and news media about wind erosion.  PM10 particulate emissions and current and prospective control methods.


9)      Better understand health impacts of particulate air pollution from several sources including agriculture.


10)  Develop agricultural windblown dust best management practices and implementation policies including evaluating the profitability and social benefits of alternative farming systems for air quality control.


11)  Develop a Columbia Plateau particulate air quality plan and modify local plans to achieve solutions to PM10 problems throughout the Columbia Plateau.