High Resolution Source Importance Mapping to Minimize Impacts of Waste Biomass Distributed Generation on Ozone Air Quality in Disadvantaged Communities in the San Joaquin Valley

Developing site-specific mitigation strategies to minimize air pollution from bioenergy projects in the San Joaquin Valley

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Update

The researchers have developed the 3-D chemical transport modeling protocol and are conducting modeling simulations and assessing ozone impact metrics. The researchers are also working to identify local and regional air pollution sources by running simulations based upon populations in disadvantage communities in the San Joaquin Valley, and areas with ozone levels that exceed air quality standards. The research team continues to work on modeling and analysis to understand heterogeneity in the pollution sources based upon meteorology, precursor emissions, and impact metrics. Due to the pandemic, this project is behind schedule and was extended until March 2022.

The Issue

To reach California's energy goals, distributed bioenergy generation could play an important role. A recent study showed that bioenergy production at its full potential under currently permitted technologies could exacerbate ozone air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley, where many disadvantaged communities are located. A variety of factors may influence air pollution impacts on disadvantaged communities. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new tools to quantify these impacts and to develop mitigation strategies.

Project Innovation

This research includes high-resolution mapping of local and regional sources that influence ozone pollution in disadvantaged communities and non-attainment areas in the San Joaquin Valley across diverse weather conditions. The researchers will use a 3-D chemical transport modeling system in a number of simulations to determine location-dependent emission limits for bioenergy distributed generation deployment needed to protect the public health of disadvantaged communities and meet federal ozone standards. A decision support model will be developed to aid planners in siting distributed bioenergy generation and mitigating associated impacts.

Project Goals

Provide high-resolution geospatial information on source importance to guide BDG siting priorities and technology choices.
Reduce health burdens in the disadvantaged communities and improve the ability of the SJV to meet federal ozone standards.
Decision support dataset for reducing the air-quality impacts of increasing the utilization of waste biomass.

Project Benefits

This study maps both local and upwind emission sources that contribute to ozone air pollution in disadvantaged communities (DAC) and uses source importance mapping to develop site-specific ozone mitigation strategies.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The results from this project provide valuable new information for stakeholders regarding the greatest opportunities for efficient and cost-effective minimization of the air quality impacts from biomass distributed generation.

Key Project Members

Ling Jin

Ling Jin

Research Scientist

Contact the Team