Texas Universities Partner to Study Combined Impact of Flooding and Air Pollution in Beaumont-Port Arthur

Four Texas universities, led by The University of Texas at Austin, have been awarded a grant to establish a new research center to study the risks and impacts of flooding and air pollution in a fast-growing part of Southeast Texas. The scientists will focus on the interactions between these two key issues, as well as their potential acceleration under various climate scenarios.

Beaumont-Port Arthur, home to the world’s largest oil refinery and a major hub in the global energy sector, is a convergence zone for risks of flooding and air pollution. Researchers at Lamar University, Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee will join UT Austin to operate the Southeast Texas Urban Integrated Field Lab (SETx-IFL). The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the team a $17 million grant for one of three field labs across the country.

“This partnership is a perfect example of the collective impact Texas universities can have by identifying and solving some of the greatest challenges in our home state,” said Jay Hartzell, president of UT Austin. “Beaumont-Port Arthur is critical to our state’s energy economy, and it is important for us to understand potential industry and climate effects on its growing population. I am proud that UT Austin is leading this effort with these esteemed university partners.”

For more information about the SETx-UIFL, visit the Cockrell School of Engineering’s announcement about the project, and the Department of Energy’s press release