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EPA continued to apply remotely sensed imagery, tools, and technologies to a wide range of environmental applications in FY 1998. EPA's Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center (EPIC) utilized current and historical aerial photography to research and identify past and current hazardous waste and other environmental problems. In FY 1998, EPIC produced hundreds of aerial photographic products on hazardous sites around the country. Scientists at EPIC used AVIRIS data sets to identify and evaluate polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)–contaminated soils at a Superfund site in Massachusetts and hazardous wastes from a munitions activity at Yorktown, Virginia.

EPA scientists also used imaging spectroscopy to research water quality issues in the Chesapeake Bay and to characterize the environmental impacts from mining operations in the western United States. EPA and NASA scientists jointly researched the utilization of the NASA-JPL topographic SAR and aerial photography with softcopy photogrammetry for Digital Elevation Model construction.

Internationally, EPA personnel participated on an environmental task force that completed a remote-sensing GIS data base for the Priobskoye area of the Russian Arctic. EPA analysts used the data base to provide ecological risk assessment information on oil and gas exploration in the region.

In FY 1998, Government and university scientists, including NASA, the USGS, and EPA, participated in the EPA Advanced Measurement Initiative external grants program by preparing proposals to evaluate a variety of remote-sensing technologies and their application to EPA needs. EPA awarded funding to five proposals:

  • Application of the SeaWiFS for Coastal Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms

  • Field Test of Buoy-Stationed Oil Spill Remote Sensing for Potable Water Sources
  • Remote Assessment of the Location and Quality of Mine Drainage Using Spectral Reflectance

  • Remote Sensing Technology to Support Toxics Release Inventory

  • Validation of Aerosol and Optical Parameters from the Multi-Angle Imaging Spectrometer on NASA's AM1 Satellite with Ground Measurements from Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments and the Clean Air Status and Trends Network
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