SAMI Status Report
By the end of December, Pechan will have finalized emissions inventories for Bold with Constraints, Bold, and Beyond Bold strategies and supplied seasonal files to the atmospheric modeling contractors for 2010 and 2040 Bold with Constraints strategy. In January Beyond Bold files will go to atmospheric modeling contractors and work will begin on direct costs. The Subcommittee is beginning work on the direct cost of controls contained in the strategies.
Georgia Tech and TVA have completed modeling for 8 of the 9 SAMI episodes for the base year and for the On the Way strategy for 2010 and 2040. Draft results have been delivered for the last episode. Model performance is quite good for sulfate and organics aerosols; uncertainties are greater for nitrate and ammonium. Results for 2010 and 2040 for the Bold with Constraints and Beyond Bold strategies will be delivered between January and April 2001.
Site selection has been completed for the acid deposition and ozone effects modeling and contractors will be ready to receive air quality results from the atmospheric model beginning in January 2001. Staff is working on contract amendments for the ozone and acid deposition linkages. Air Resources Specialists was unanimously selected as the visibility contractor; the subcommittee will finalize a work plan with ARS in January 2001.
Contractors are selected ending a four-month selection process. Specific guidance from the Operations Committee allowed the SE Workgroup to move forward. They are discussing revised scopes of work and plan to sign contracts with Mathtech and Abt shortly. The topics to be addressed are fishing, hiking/enjoying scenery, stewardship/sense of place, human health (mortality), competitiveness, and lifestyle changes. From two of the more contentious areas of discussion, the OC directed the SEWG to examine mortality but not morbidity consistent with the recommendations of the Phase I contractors. They also indicated that the visibility analysis should include "residential visibility" encompassing areas outside the Class I areas.
Public Advisory Committee
On the incentives contract, the PAC and ICF Consulting are finalizing an energy use and emissions baseline that will be used to evaluate incentive strategies in the residential and commercial building sectors. Next they will work to create an optimal package of incentive strategies to model for the transportation and building sectors. The PAC is discussing its role in the SAMI Final Report process and is developing creative ways to deliver the SAMI message.
The Policy Committee completed their descriptions of three strategies that were under discussion since the summer of 1999. The Bold strategy takes an assertive approach to applying technological controls to new sources. Bold with constraints introduces economic and logistic considerations. Beyond Bold often assumes state-of-the-art controls are applied to many sources within each source sector. The PC is beginning discussions on the incentives that may be used to encourage permit holders to reduce emissions voluntarily.
Operations Committee and Governing Body
SAMI policy makers came to the rescue of the SE Workgroup by making some difficult policy decisions to resolve an impasse in the workgroup. A split vote by the GB indicates the difficulty of the issue as well as the willingness of that group to decide and move on. The OC agreed to meet monthly in the coming year with conference calls and six face-to-face meetings. The Governing Body approved the Internal Fiscal controls policy for use by SAMI staff. SAMI extends thanks to our banker Wachovia Bank for underwriting a portion of our semi-annual meeting in Charleston.
Fall 2001 completion of the Integrated Assessment and recommendations development will require Effect outputs to feed into Socioeconomic modeling in time to allow the results to affect recommendations. Direct cost activities will need to pick up now that strategies are defined but they are not as "downstream" since their inputs will come from emissions inventories. "Proof of Strategy" runs that may be defined later this year may put all elements of the Integrated Assessment on the critical path.
Year 2000 Accomplishments
1. Functional SAMI Website at www.saminet.org. Thanks to Jake Gilmer's watchful eye, the website is the place to go for the latest SAMI information that even staff uses when they forget what hotel they are meeting in tomorrow.
2. New Contractors Hired -- Effects Phase II (three), Socioeconomics (two), Atmospheric (one more - total of two), Incentives (one) , Dry Deposition Weighting (one), Effects Linkages (two) and Cades Cove Traffic (one). An active contract for emissions inventories continues.
3. Emissions Inventories and Atmospheric modeling are in production mode. Effects Phase II and Socioeconomics Phase II are under way.
4. SAMI strategy discussions are complete for now. A family of strategy runs that bracket the range of future possibilities on the technological controls side were defined. Possible incentives or "proof of strategy" runs may be explored next year.
5. The Georgia Pacific and Eastman Supplemental Environmental Projects were completed. The Eastman work focused on mobile emissions inventories. The Georgia Pacific Offsets grants were returned for Georgia Pacific to use on NOx reductions at their plants. Roughly $1m in Georgia Pacific supported the Integrated Assessment, a Class I permitting information system was constructed, and a pilot project for reducing transportation emissions in the Smokies was funded.
6. A contractor is exploring ways to reduce emissions with consumer-level incentives.
7. A second interim report was published in support of the Georgia Air Summit.
8. SAMI committees are largely restaffed.
9. State and EPA contributions plus Congressional Appropriations put SAMI in a position to complete its work, provided that work can be completed in 2001.
10. SAMI held its first vote and seems to have survived the experience.
11. The SAMI Virtual Volleyball Team finished the year with an undefeated record. They are looking for a new league that will allow them to finish all their matches by December 2001. (For those new to SAMI this is an ongoing staff attempt at an incentive system to encourage folks to actually read through all this sometimes dry material.)