Skip to main content

This project models emission dispersions from the most heavily impacted transportation network segments (primarily roads) identified by our current UTRC project. Our current research models environmental and transport impacts of material and waste movements related to hydraulic fracturing activities in the Marcellus Shale Formation. Both projects use ArcGIS Network Analyst and the GIFT Model (Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transport) to 1) simulate transportation routes used to deliver equipment and materials to well sites and the removal of drilling waste from wells to waste facilities and 2) estimate emissions generated by transportation activities. Our current research identifies high volume transport network segments and calculates emission totals. We will expand the current project in the proposed research by using one or more pollution emissions and dispersion models (MOVES, AERMOD, CALPUFF, Cal-Roads, and/or ALOHA) to evaluate potential health impacts along high volume segments. The dispersion models will help identify areas where concentrated diesel emissions generated by transportation activities supporting natural gas development may be impacting human health. Our goal is to evaluate the potential impact and to evaluate multimodal and transport technology modifications through the use of the computer models to help minimize these impacts. Results from these models can be integrated into the GIS database to illustrate the extent of the local pollution problems (these models produce GIS ready output) and we can link the model results to population layers, such as parcels and census blocks. Based on the dispersion model results, we can modify GIFT parameters to evaluate the impact of 1) technological controls (engine filters); 2) alternative fuels (CNG and LNG); 3) locating intermodal transfer facilities and/or material depots outside of populated areas; and 4) minimizing material and waste transport by on-site recycling of waste waters at the well pads. This project will promote goals of two UTRC Research Focus Areas - Focus Area 3: Promoting freight productivity, efficiency, and sustainability through multimodal policy, planning, and logistics and Focus Area 7: Promoting livable and sustainable communities through quality of life improvements and diverse transportation development