A Special Issue of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association on the Particulate Matter Supersites

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This special issue of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association contains 15 peer-reviewed scientific papers from the specialty conference Particulate Matter Supersites Program and Related Studies, which was held in February 2005 in Atlanta, GA. Other peer-reviewed papers will appear in companion issues of the Journal of Geophysical Research, Aerosol Science and Technology, and Atmospheric Environment. Nearly 75 peer-reviewed papers will be published in these four special issues during the first half of 2006.

The 350 papers presented at the conference were broad in scope and supported conference objectives to report major findings on recent advances in the field of aerosol measurement. They covered the modeling and data analysis of the fate of aerosols from source-to-receptor, and completed the cycle by attributing observed ambient concentrations at receptors to their sources. Policy implications, and linking science and policy to these results, were other themes of the conference.

Topics addressed in this dedicated special issue include particulate matter (PM) concentrations, size distributions, and chemical compositions and their temporal and spatial variability. Advances in continuous mass monitoring that retain the volatile components of fine PM (PM2.5) are reported. Applications are described that use nephelometers and an aerodynamic particle sizer to represent PM2.5 and coarse PM (PM10-2.5) concentrations continuously for short averaging periods. Atmospheric dispersion and new particle formation are examined in Fresno, CA, Rochester, NY, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

A new water-based condensation particle counter that detects airborne particles between 2.5 and 20 nm is evaluated. Two major studies are summarized: the Gulf Coast Air Resources and Chemistry Study around Houston, TX, and the California Regional PM10/PM2.5 Air Quality Study (CRPAQS) in the San Joaquin Valley. Variations between continuous and filter-based carbon measurements are evaluated. Uncertainties and new approaches to retain major PM components in the Speciation Trends Network (STN) are proposed. Lead emissions from different sources in southern California are compared.

Numerical models to estimate PM mass and evaluate alternative PM control strategies are explained. The American Association for Aerosol Research was the primary sponsor of the PM Supersites Meeting, with cosponsorship by the Air & Waste Management Association.

The primary financial sponsor of the conference was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Other donors included American Petroleum Institute; California Air Resources Board; Southern Company; the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory; Electric Power Research Institute; Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association; NARSTO; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Science oundation, Atmospheric Chemistry Program; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The editors are grateful to all of the authors and attendees, the conference organizers, and to those who submitted and revised manuscripts. The conference organizers and guest editors hope that the papers in this dedicated issue provide Journal readers with useful information that they can use today and that will still be beneficial for years to come. These articles provide a sample of the hard work and effort invested by the PM Supersites Program investigators and related study participants, as well as all of the conference participants.

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