Research Comment Portal
Thank you for your interest in the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Research Program. CARB has initiated the research planning process for fiscal year (FY) 2024-2025 with a call for research comments and concepts from the public, which is facilitated through a survey. The annual collection of research comments and concepts is an important part of CARB’s engagement with the public to inform program priorities.
The annual research planning process is guided by research priorities that are responsive to CARB programmatic goals, emerging air quality and climate issues and public input. Public input is collected through various mechanisms, including the annual research concept and comment survey and public meetings. The annual process begins with a call for project comments and concepts from the public. All responses from the public are reviewed and assessed based on their alignment with CARB program needs. The Triennial Strategic Research Plan (Plan) provides an overview of past and current research activities, as well as remaining program needs. The following criteria are used to prioritize concepts and comments for further development into research projects:
- Program relevance
- Results easily integrate into program work.
- Results will inform current and/or future policy development.
- The project is novel and pushes the science.
- It addresses a research gap.
- It avoids duplication of current projects.
- It is multidisciplinary.
- Anticipated timelines
- The project addresses long-term anticipated challenges.
- It is appropriate for the timeline.
- Cost-effectiveness and ability to leverage existing efforts.
- Technically viable.
In addition, Research Program staff apply an equity lens to determine whether the project needs a community engagement component or whether specific data gaps exist around race or other sociodemographic factors.
Any member of the public that submits a comment or concept that CARB staff prioritize for funding will be contacted directly. If a selected concept/comment author doesn’t want to be involved, or is not qualified to perform the work, the concept will be included in the annual solicitation for others to apply to. The top comments and concepts are developed into projects that, if approved by the executive office, are then developed further for public release and proposal solicitations. Applicants who submit the top proposal for a given project are awarded contracts to perform their proposed research. The time between the initiation of the concept and comment collection to contract initiation is approximately one and a half years.
It is important to note that the Research Program operates on a very limited budget. Although the Research Program receives up to 200 comments and concepts each year, only a small fraction of publicly submitted concepts and comments can be pursued for funding due to budget limitations. However, comments and concepts are still incredibly valuable and help CARB identify the needs of the public. All comments are catalogued and added to the current Triennial Plan as an addendum and helps guide overall CARB Research Program goals.
The survey provides two submission options. One option collects community concerns on air quality or climate change that can be addressed with research. The second option collects research concepts that include specific objectives, proposed methods, and estimated cost.
Academic and community researchers are invited to submit 300-word project concepts. Note that project concepts are more likely to be developed into full projects if they’re in alignment with research priorities as outlined in the Plan and CARB program goals. This year, we provided more specific guidance on the research topics that are the highest priority. As the current Plan comes to a close, CARB Research Program staff identified the remaining priorities from the Plan and emerging topics. These guiding topics are discussed on this page under “Urgent Remaining Priorities.” Submitted concepts that address these remaining research issues have a higher chance of being developed into full projects.
For non-researchers, concerned residents and community members, CARB collects comments on air quality and climate concerns. This information is important for identifying community concerns and steering the research projects toward specific topics in future.
This year the survey closed on July 31, 2023. CARB staff will summarize the number of project concepts received and the research topics covered. The summary overview of public submissions will be included in a Plan Addendum, which will be available on the Triennial Plan landing page. No personal information or details on project concepts will be shared publicly.
A public meeting will be held in November, 2023 to get input on the top 20-30 projects that will be identified as priority project concepts. Input at this stage is critical in finalizing the list of projects that will be funded in fiscal year 2024-2025. CARB’s research budget limits how many concepts can be developed into full research projects.
We greatly appreciate your time and engagement in providing your input.
For a brief introduction the survey, we have created publicly viewable videos on the comment and concept portions of the survey. The slides in the video are available at the bottom of this page.
CARB Research Program staff have identified remaining research questions from the Triennial Strategic Research Plan that are important and timely for current CARB programs. Concepts and comments submitted on these topics will have a higher chance of being prioritized. We will still review and consider all concepts and comments submitted. Below we provide research priorities by research category.
- What novel qualitative or quantitative methods could be used to analyze health impacts of air pollutants and/or toxic pollutants at the local level, including census tract or neighborhood levels, particularly in vulnerable communities?
- What approaches could be used to incorporate consideration of cumulative impacts into health analysis methods, including disparate impacts to racial and ethnic groups, interaction of pollutants and neighborhood level impacts?
- What quantitative or qualitative metrics could be used to measure and communicate health impacts and co-benefits of climate strategies or mitigations to achieve climate goals in communities?
- What community factors contribute to increased indoor exposure to air pollutants in communities? Would these factors lead to disproportionately lower indoor air quality in impacted communities?
- What are the impacts of alternative manure management activities on GHG emissions, and their implication on best management practices at California dairies? Are there specific near-source considerations for air emissions from dairies near vulnerable communities?
- What approaches and information can improve the evaluation of nitrogenous emissions (NH3, NOx, N2O) in the San Joaquin Valley considering the various factors including soil type. application rate, climate?
- How can we improve the characterization of the current sources of PM2.5 precursor emissions to inform future NAAQS attainment pathways while satisfying community air monitoring needs?
- How can we maintain public support for greenhouse gas emission reductions as energy and other costs increase for businesses, individuals, and households?
- How do activity and energy use patterns in remaining diesel engines in the state affect NOx emissions and what are strategies to minimize those emissions. How do these emissions affect air quality and do these emissions continue to fall mostly in disadvantaged communities?
- What novel strategies could be used to further advance sustainable communities, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from both the built environment and vehicle miles traveled, while meeting community needs in a manner that promotes equity, access to opportunity, and community resiliency?
Lower Priority Concepts
The CARB Research Program has a very limited budget. For this reason we do not expect to prioritize project concepts estimated to cost more than $1M. Project concepts and comments that do not fall within CARB’s purview will also be de-prioritized. Finally, the Research Program does not fund technological demonstration projects or entrepreneurial ventures.
Submit a comment or concept
Comments and concepts can be submitted through the survey. Note that any comments or concepts received after July 31 will be considered for the following fiscal year of 2025-2026. To submit a comment or a concept, please use the survey link below:
You may contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to receive updates and notices for public meetings by email, sign up for our listserv and select the “Research Activities” option from the list of topics.
Top Projects Under Consideration for funding year 2024-2025
This year CARB received a total of 118 comments and concepts from the public and from CARB research staff. After extensive review 13 projects were prioritized. Below is a list of those 13 projects. A public meeting will be held to give the public the opportunity to ask questions about the projects and provide feedback or additional considerations that should be included in the prioritized projects. This discussion will help CARB refine the projects and select the ones that should be considered for funding. The meeting recording will be available soon after the meeting. CARB will continue to collect public feedback through a poll and in writing until November 27.
Below is a list of projects under consideration. The slides for the public meeting will be uploaded by November 3.
- Health impacts of indoor air quality and community air pollution from non-tailpipe emissions near roadways - $850k
- The project will increase the understanding of how particles from non-tailpipe emissions (such as brake and tire wear) impact outdoor air quality, infiltrate indoor environments, and affect human health in a community living close to freeways.
- It will also provide information to help community members to mitigate such exposures.
- Improving health and exposure analysis for air pollution control programs by adding local information - $800k
- Improving understanding and analysis of health effects in communities from pollution control programs by:
- Using air quality modeling to improve estimated exposure of over-burdened communities
- Using statistical methods to estimate baseline health information at the local level in over-burdened communities
- Ground truthing air quality data with community provided information
- Investigating methods to account for socioeconomic factors affecting health
- Improving understanding and analysis of health effects in communities from pollution control programs by:
- Improving assessment of the benefits of California’s urban green spaces $700k
- Use up-to-date highly accurate green space and tree canopy data to quantify the benefits of California’s urban green space such as health, heat mitigation, energy savings, and air pollution reduction benefits.
- Develop a methodology to calculate the benefits of future urban greening scenarios.
- Collaborating with Communities to Find Ways to Cope with Heat and Reduce Health Impacts - $600k
- This project will help us to understand the health benefits of climate adaptation strategies, such as heat-related adaptation strategies, while including the community's needs, concerns, and priorities.
- Case studies will be conducted in vulnerable communities and the results will help CARB prioritize strategies that take into account local and community concerns.
- Supporting community health improvements with a pilot project to employ low-cost sensors and air filtration devices in the Bayview Hunter’s Point community - $850k
- Data will be collected from over-burdened communities for comparative analysis to understand modern-day impacts in communities impacted by redlining.
- Residents will be given high efficiency filters such as HEPA filters and low-cost indoor portable air monitors to detect and record indoor PM2.5 levels. Residents will be trained in using equipment to improve indoor air quality and surveyed throughout study to gauge self-reported improvements in their respiratory health.
- Predicting health impacts of dust emissions on priority communities, with a focus on the Salton Sea - $930k
- Identify and model current and future sources of windblown dust in Salton Sea-area communities.
- Based on sampling, dust concentration and composition will be determined and the potential for health effects from exposure to various dust sources will be characterized.
- Impacts of toxic air contaminants from gas cooking and heating appliances - $900k
- Measure emission rates of toxic air contaminants (e.g., formaldehyde and benzene) from gas cooking and heating appliances used in homes (including low-income housing).
- Estimate the impacts on indoor/outdoor air quality and health and assess the co-benefit of zero-emission appliances.
- What's in the air near my school? Investigating airport pollutants with youth-led community science - $200k
- A frequent community concern is that airports are major sources of pollutants. Previous work shows ultrafine particles and other emissions can be high near airports. However, airports are not under state jurisdiction.
- What impacts can we start to measure to raise more awareness and propose future looking solutions?
- Emerging Pollutants and Novel Methods: Closing Data Gaps on Toxics - White paper project - $150k
- This white paper project would centralize the known information on emerging pollutants of concern and summarize potential monitoring methods that could help CARB characterize where exposures may be occurring.
- The white paper would help CARB create a detailed roadmap to implement new monitoring strategies and accompanying analysis strategies to better respond to community concerns around exposures to airborne toxics and carcinogens.
- Determining energy use patterns and battery charging infrastructure for zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment - $750k
- Characterize real-world activity, energy consumption, refueling needs, and co-benefits from on-road and off-road zero-emission (ZE) heavy-duty vehicles powered by battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell.
- Comprehensively evaluate the efficiency and accessibility of the current battery charging infrastructure and inform future efforts to improve the reliability and accessibility of the battery charging infrastructure, especially in priority communities.
- Evaluating alternative charging solutions for zero-emission off-road equipment (ZE ORE) - $350k
- Due to the current limited charging infrastructure and the transit nature of off-road site, Alternative Charging Solutions (ACSs) capable of supplying electricity or hydrogen energy to power ZE ORE in remote locations is critical to be investigated.
- This research aims to evaluate the technical feasibility and economic viability of ACSs for ZE ORE in California.
- Characterizing brake and tire-wear emissions from off-road vehicles - $500k
- There is currently no knowledge of off-road brake and tire-wear emissions.
- This study would help understand what scale of emissions may be coming from this source and update our inventory to characterize the full vehicle emissions more accurately.
- Tracking vehicle emission disparities using remote sensing device (RSD) across California communities - $150k
- CARB has funded studies over the years to characterize real-world on-road passenger vehicle emissions. The longitudinal data has shown disparities by zip code and overall changes with fleet turnover.
- This study would continue this valuable work and focus on characterizing disparities in emissions across different socioeconomic factors.
Sustainable Communities and Transportation
- Increasing Public Transit Ridership - $200k
- This project will synthesize strategies agencies should prioritize to help reverse transit ridership decline.
- It will assess associated costs and benefits of these strategies and what different stakeholders can do to reverse the trend.
Additional project ideas may be presented at the public meeting on November 15.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB or Board) held a public meeting to discuss the top 14 research priorities under consideration for funding in fiscal year 2024-2025. The purpose of the meeting and the poll (linked below) is to solicit comments from the public on these top research concepts. In addition, staff provided a summary on the submissions CARB received from the public call for research concepts and comments that closed on July 31, 2023. Material that will be presented at the meeting is available on the research comment portal for public review. A poll asking for feedback on each individual project will be available for the public to fill out and will be closed by November 27, 2023.
Date: November 15, 2023
Time: 5:30 to 7:00 PM PDT
- 5:30 to 5:35 PM: Introductions
- 5:35 to 5:50 PM: CARB Research Program Overview
- 5:50 to 6:15 PM: Summary of Comments and Concepts Received
- 6:15 to 7:00 PM: Open Discussion of Proposed Research Concepts (order of topics to (order of topics to be discussed)
- Proposed Health and Environmental Justice Research
- Proposed Mobile Sources and Environmental Justice Research
- Proposed Air Quality, Climate, Sustainable Communities and EJ Research
Please fill out this poll by 5 p.m. on November 27, 2023 to provide feedback on which of the proposed concepts are high priority. To submit a written comment on research priorities for CARB to fund in fiscal year 2024-2025, please email them to email@example.com by 5 PM on November 27, 2023. A summary of all comments received at the meeting, through the poll, and via email will be summarized in a new appendix in an updated version of the 2021-2024 Triennial Strategic Research Plan that will be available in early 2024.