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Air Pollution Sources Webquest
EPA Emissions Inventory

The EPA has recently created a set of Google Fusion database tables, allowing the public to access air quality measurements taken by the EPA in every county in the United States. This is a great resource to provide a local context for the unit. Students will access the data specific for their county and determine the biggest polluters for each of the criteria pollutants as defined by the Clean Air Act.

This assignment will guide students in accessing the 2008 National Emissions Inventory, narrowing this data down to air pollution sources within their state and county, then determining what the largest emitters of these pollutants are. Pollutants covered by this webquest include the six criteria air pollutants (sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates, lead) as well as the ones added by the 1990 reauthorization (ammonia, volatile organic compounds).

Essential concepts: Clean Air Act, criteria pollutants, primary pollutants, secondary pollutants, ozone, ammonia, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulates, nitrogen oxides, lead, EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, environmental laws, air quality.

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