Exploring the Link Between Green Infrastructure and Air Quality

Exploring the Link Between Green Infrastructure and Air Quality

August 09, 2017

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EPA Webinars

August 9, 1 PM (ET) – Exploring the Link Between Green Infrastructure and Air Quality 

In this webcast, sponsored by US EPA's Green Infrastructure program, speakers from the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation and Office of Research and Development will discuss innovative research into the multiple benefits of green infrastructure.

While green infrastructure can help communities manage stormwater, using vegetated systems like green roofs and tree boxes can also help improve air quality and reduce urban heat island effects. These practices shade building surfaces, deflect radiation from the sun, and release moisture into the atmosphere. Additionally, natural features such as urban forests and vegetative barriers planted near roads, in parking lots and around city centers, assist in reducing particulate pollution and ground-level ozone, improving air quality and reducing cases of respiratory illness and other health impacts related to air pollution.  

Session 1: Recommendations for Constructing Roadside Vegetation Barriers to Improve Near-Road Air Quality

Richard Baldauf, Senior Engineer, U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development

Richard will present EPA's Office of Research and Development report published in August 2016, Recommendations for Constructing Roadside Vegetation Barriers to Improve Near-Road Air Quality, about how roadside vegetation affects local air quality. The report was developed to support projects planting roadside vegetation with recommendations that can be used by states, communities and individuals interested in reducing roadside pollution.

Session 2: Estimating the Environmental Effects of Green Roofs: A Case Study in Kansas City

Robyn DeYoung, Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. EPA, Office of Air and Radiation

Robyn will present a case study demonstrating the environmental benefits of green roofs in Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). She will describe how any local jurisdiction can use free and easily accessible tools to quantify the benefits of green roofs for stormwater management, air pollution, energy savings and public health. The presentation will highlight a replicable methodology using EPA's AVERT tool and the Green Roof Energy Calculator as well as results from Kansas City's case study.


Richard Baldauf, PhD, PE, a Senior Research Engineer who investigates the impacts of transportation sources on air quality, works for EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Research Triangle Park, NC, as well as the Office of Transportation and Air Quality in the Office of Air and Radiation. He holds a Master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD from University of Kansas, both in Environmental Engineering. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. Richard has published more than 75 peer-reviewed journal articles during his 15 years at EPA.

Robyn DeYoung, an Environmental Protection Specialist for the Office of Air and Radiation at US EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC, collaborates with and provides tools and resources for state and local governments to help them make the case for sustainability initiatives, such as green infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. She trains others on using EPA's tool AVERT as well as other environmental monitoring tools. Robyn has a BA in Environmental Science and MA in Energy and Environmental Analysis from Boston University.