Frey named chair of EPA clean air committee

Dr. Frey
Dr. Frey

Dr. H. Christopher Frey, Distinguished University Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University, has been appointed by US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to chair the independently chartered Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) for two years. Frey began his new role Oct. 1.

The seven-member CASAC is required under the 1977 Clean Air Act to advise the administrator on the scientific and technical bases for EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The standards protect public health and the environment based on the latest scientific knowledge.

CASAC, composed of scientists from outside the EPA, reviews extensive scientific and policy assessments prepared by EPA staff, provides advice regarding whether existing air quality standards adequately protect public health and the environment, and provides advice regarding alternative standards, if needed. The committee’s findings are communicated by the chair directly to the administrator and are used by EPA staff to revise scientific assessments and prepare rulemakings.

As CASAC chair, Frey also serves as a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board.

Frey has been a member of CASAC for four years, serving on panels for each of the NAAQS pollutants, which include ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and lead. These pollutants are either emitted directly, such as from cars and power plants, or formed in the atmosphere as a result of other pollutants. EPA is required to review the NAAQS for each pollutant every five years. Frey will continue as chair of the ongoing Lead Review Panel and will become chair of the Ozone Review Panel.

Frey has made significant research and teaching contributions in the areas of measurement of real-world vehicle emissions, evaluation of power plant energy use and emissions, exposure and risk assessment, and quantification of uncertainty in environmental systems models. His classes at NC State include Air Pollution Control, Air Quality Engineering and Environmental Exposure and Risk Analysis.

Frey earned his BS in mechanical engineering in 1985 from the University of Virginia, his MS in mechanical engineering in 1987 from Carnegie Mellon University, and his PhD in engineering and public policy in 1991, also from Carnegie Mellon.

He joined the faculty at NC State in 1994.