ground-level ozone, environmental engineering, engineering, VOC, NOx, air pollution, air quality, nonroad emissions, nonroad pollution, pollution


Ground-level ozone is harmful to the human respiratory system, as well as the environment. The national EPA 8-hour ozone standard for ground-level ozone was reduced from 85 parts per billion (ppb) to 75 ppb in 2008, and trends from previous years show that some of the counties in Central Florida could be in danger of violation. Violation means "non attainment" status; in which the county is ordered by EPA to develop specific implementation plans to reduce its emissions. The objective of this study was to compile an emissions inventory of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from nonroad equipment in Osceola, Seminole, and Orange Counties (OSO) in Central Florida, and to develop possible action steps to reduce those emissions. This is important because VOC and NOx emissions are precursors to ground-level ozone. Thus, compiling emissions inventories is important to identify high VOC and NOx emitters. Mobile and point sources have long been the highest emitters of VOC and NOx and have therefore been targeted and monitored since the Clean Air Act of 1970, but the nonroad sources (such as construction and lawn equipment) have only been regulated since the 1990s. Using the NONROAD and NMIM modeling programs, the highest nonroad emitters of VOC for Central Florida were found to be lawn/garden equipment, and boating equipment, emitting a combined percentage of 77% of the total nonroad mobile source VOC. Construction equipment contributed 67% of the total nonroad mobile source emissions of NOx in Central Florida. The components of these categories were also analyzed to find the largest individual sources of VOC and NOx. Of the individual sources, lawn mowers and outboard boat engines were found to be the largest sources of VOCs. Of the NOx sources, all the construction equipment components had a relatively similar level of NOx emissions. Next, action steps were developed to reduce emissions, focusing on the high emitters, along with an estimated cost and feasibility for each measure. Of these steps, implementing a ban on leafblowers, and reducing use of lawn mowers, edgers, trimmers, etc. seemed to be the most effective for reducing VOCs. Although these are effective measures, the cost and feasibility of both pose challenges. The best action step for reducing NOx emissions in construction equipment seemed to be by simply reducing idling of equipment on job sites. This also poses challenges in feasibility and enforcement by management. Further, constant on/off cycles could result in decreasing the useful life of the older construction equipment. Finally, a survey was conducted with various construction managers and companies to find out the typical equipment and quantity needed for land clearing/grubbing, as well as the typical use, idling time, and total project time for each piece of equipment on a 10-acre site, under various conditions. The purpose of the study was to develop a rough estimate for the average amount of VOC and NOx emissions that will be produced per acre of land clearing activities, and to estimate the emissions reductions and cost savings if idling of the equipment was reduced.


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Graduation Date



Cooper, C. David


Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (M.S.Env.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering








Release Date

February 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)