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Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment - download PDFThe issues: Power-generation, mining, and industrial operations are extensive in the Ohio River Valley Region (Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky). Research has shown that this region, viewed as one of the major source regions for air pollution in the nation, has contributed to air quality problems from upstate New York to Texas. Added to that are significant water pollution issues that result from resource extraction, especially coal mining, and a depressed regional economy that has impeded the development of an adequate infrastructure for wastewater treatment. Efforts to address these issues through regulatory drivers such as the 1990 Clean Air Act, the 1997 revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and the 1972 Clean Water Act (and its many amendments) have had and will continue to have significant economic and political implications for the region. Even so, there is no comprehensive regional resource base that provides technical and policy support on air-, water-, land-use-, and energy-related issues.

What is Ohio University doing to address the issues?

Over the last five years, three research areas at the university have developed separate resource bases in the environmental arena: a) clean coal technologies; b) air quality modeling and assessment; and c) water quality modeling, assessment, monitoring, characterization, and remediation.

To foster interdisciplinary partnering the Ohio Coal Research Center (clean coal technologies) and the Air Quality Center (air quality modeling and assessment) have recently fused to form the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE), providing a technical focus for addressing the region’s air quality concerns while working cooperatively with industries and state and federal governments.

This partnership was enhanced in 2005 with the formation of the Consortium for Energy Economics and the Environment. The Consortium was initiated in response to a Request for Proposals to establish University Research Priorities by Ohio University and was recently awarded $600,000 by the University to examine energy production and its environmental and economic impact in the state and nation. CE3 is an intensive program of integrated research into the Ohio River Valley Region’s energy, environmental, and economic issues, which enhances ten already productive units within the university. These units form the Consortium for Energy, Economics, and the Environment (CE3), an interdisciplinary collaborative of centers, institutes, groups, and academic programs. CE3 will involves faculty, staff, and students in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Health and Human Services. The consortium’s overall purpose is to support research that crosses the boundaries of energy production, economic value, and environmental health, providing practical solutions to regional problems through university outreach, faculty research, and student education and engagement.

Participating units

The following units (with contact persons indicated) are participating consortium members:

  • Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE), Director Michael Prudich (Engineering) - partners are the Ohio Coal Research Center and the Center for Air Quality:

    • Center for Air Quality, Director Kevin Crist (Engineering) - conducts collaborative air quality research.

    • Ohio Coal Research Center, Director David J. Bayless (Engineering) - conducts collaborative basic and applied environmental conversion, energy security, air pollution control research, assessment, and reporting.

  • Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs (Voinovich Center), Director Mark Weinberg (Political Science) - provides an infrastructure and organizing entity for CE3 activities by housing the staff and by coordinating the Consortium Faculty Learning Group and consortium-sponsored conferences.

    • Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development (ILGARD), Senior Projects Manager Scott Miller - provides project support (e.g., coordination, administrative and budgeting assistance, GIS, Web-page maintenance, and outreach).

  • Appalachian Watershed Research Group (AWRG), Director Mary Stoertz (Geological Sciences) - conducts collaborative basic and applied research into watershed management for biodiversity.

  • Midwest Biodiversity Institute, Director Chris Yoder - conducts training and research into surface water dynamics and biological assessment.

  • Center for Applied Bioassessment and Biocriteria (CABB), Director Brian Armitage - develops and use biological indices and goals for managing aquatic resources and improving the protection of the biological integrity of the nation’s surface waters.

  • Masters of Science in Environmental Studies (MSES), Director Gene Mapes (Environmental and Plant Biology) - coordinates and offer multidisciplinary graduate experiential learning opportunities.

  • Department of Economics, Chairman Roy Boyd - map interest groups for energy-related policies, incentives, and practices and will quantify their environmental and business impacts in monetary terms.

 

Center for Air Quality
Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Ohio University | Athens, OH 45701-2979
Tel: (740) 593-4751
cristk@ohio.edu
 

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