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Principal Investigator: Park, Eun Sug
Institute Receiving Award Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Location College Station, TX
Grant Number R01ES034095
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 13 Feb 2024 to 31 Dec 2027
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): ABSTRACT Among the more than 39 million people who live near ports in the United States (U.S.) are residents of the fourth most populous city, Houston, Texas. Houston is home to Port Houston, one of the busiest ports in the nation. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) estimated marine vessel diesel engines contributed more than 11,000 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 300 tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and 1,800 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to air basins in Harris, Galveston, and Brazoria Counties in 2014, which added to the region’s difficulty in meeting the national ambient air quality standards for O3 and PM2.5. Concerns about potential health effects for residents who live near ports and bear the greatest burden of ship emissions have been rising. The overarching goal of the proposed research is to evaluate the impact of the mandatory reduction of vessel fuel sulfur content in the North American Emission Control Area (NA ECA) that went into effect on January 1, 2015, on air quality and health. Our overall hypothesis is that total and cause-specific (non-accidental) mortality and hospital admissions associated with Port Houston shipping emissions exposures decreased in Harris County, TX due to the policy and regulatory change to low sulfur fuel oil for marine vessels transiting the NA ECA. For exposure assessment of shipping emissions, we will employ a spatially enhanced advanced source apportionment method (Bayesian spatial multivariate receptor modeling) that incorporates spatial correlation in multi-site multipollutant data into the estimation of source profiles and contributions, which enables the prediction of unobserved source-specific exposures at any location, monitored or not, and significantly reduces spatial misalignment errors. Our objectives are three-fold. First, we will estimate shipping emissions spatial fields along with their uncertainty estimates and construct maps of latent shipping emissions over Harris County that can be used for identifying hot spots as well as for visualizing the changes before and after the intervention (NA ECA). Second, we will estimate the effects of the intervention along with uncertainty estimates, including effect estimates of shipping emissions on mortality and morbidity for Harris County residents. Third, we will examine the effects of the intervention for subpopulations of different racial/ethnic groups and by neighborhood disadvantage, sex, and age. This proposal responds to the NIEHS mission of evaluating disproportionate risks of diseases due to combined environmental exposures. Tangible outcomes will include temporally- and spatially resolved source-specific air pollution surfaces due to shipping emissions and other major pollution sources that can be adapted in future investigations both in Houston and elsewhere in the nation and used to develop targeted interventions to mitigate health risks.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 41 - Cardiovascular System
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Lindsey Martin
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