Laboratory Terms A

A glossary of science, chemistry, environmental and laboratory terms.

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144 results match your search term:  A


A-Scale Sound Level
A measurement of sound approximating the sensitivity of the human ear, used t...

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Abandoned Well
A well whose use has been permanently discontinued or which is in a state of ...

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Abatement
Reducing the degree or intensity of, or eliminating, pollution.

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Abatement Debris
Waste from remediation activities.

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Absorbed Dose
In exposure assessment, the amount of a substance that penetrates an exposed ...

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Absorber
Any material that stops ionizing radiation. Lead, concrete, and steel attenua...

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Absorption
The process of taking in. The uptake of water, other fluids, or dissolved che...

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Absorption Barrier
Any of the exchange sites of the body that permit uptake of various substance...

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Accident Site
The location of an unexpected occurrence, failure or loss, either at a plant ...

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Acclimatization
The physiological and behavioral adjustments of an organism to changes in its...

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Acequia
Acequias were important forms of irrigation in the development of agriculture...

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Acid
A corrosive substance with a pH less than 7.

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Acid Aerosol
Acidic liquid or solid particles small enough to become airborne. High concen...

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Acid Deposition
A complex chemical and atmospheric phenomenon that occurs when emissions of s...

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Acid Mine Drainage
Drainage of water from areas that have been mined for coal or other mineral o...

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Acid Neutralizing Capacity
Measure of ability of a base (e.g. water or soil) to resist changes in pH.

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Acidic
The condition of water or soil that contains a sufficient amount of acid subs...

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Action Levels
1. Regulatory levels recommended by EPA for enforcement by FDA and USDA when ...

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Activated Carbon
A highly adsorbent form of carbon used to remove odors and toxic substances f...

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Activated Sludge
Product that results when primary effluent is mixed with bacteria-laden sludg...

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Activator
A chemical added to a pesticide to increase its activity.

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Active Ingredient
In any pesticide product, the component that kills, or otherwise controls, ta...

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Activity Plans
Written procedures in a school's asbestos-management plan that detail the ste...

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Acute Effect
An adverse effect on any living organism which results in severe symptoms tha...

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Acute Exposure
A single exposure to a toxic substance which may result in severe biological ...

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Acute Toxicity
The ability of a substance to cause severe biological harm or death soon afte...

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Adaptation
Changes in an organism's physiological structure or function or habits that a...

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Add-on Control Device
An air pollution control device such as carbon absorber or incinerator that r...

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Adequately Wet
Asbestos containing material that is sufficiently mixed or penetrated with li...

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Administered Dose
In exposure assessment, the amount of a substance given to a test subject (hu...

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Administrative Order
A legal document signed by EPA directing an individual, business, or other en...

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Administrative Order On Consent
A legal agreement signed by EPA and an individual, business, or other entity ...

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Administrative Procedures Act
A law that spells out procedures and requirements related to the promulgation...

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Administrative Record
All documents which EPA considered or relied on in selecting the response act...

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Adsorption
Removal of a pollutant from air or water by collecting the pollutant on the s...

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Adulterants
Chemical impurities or substances that by law do not belong in a food, or pes...

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Adulterated
1. Any pesticide whose strength or purity falls below the quality stated on i...

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Advanced Treatment
A level of wastewater treatment more stringent than secondary treatment; requ...

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Advanced Wastewater Treatment
Any treatment of sewage that goes beyond the secondary or biological water tr...

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Adverse Effects Data
FIFRA requires a pesticide registrant to submit data to EPA on any studies or...

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Advisory
A non-regulatory document that communicates risk information to those who may...

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Aerated Lagoon
A holding and/or treatment pond that speeds up the natural process of biologi...

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Aeration
A process which promotes biological degradation of organic matter in water. T...

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Aeration Tank
A chamber used to inject air into water.

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Aerobic
Life or processes that require, or are not destroyed by, the presence of oxygen.

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Aerobic Treatment
Process by which microbes decompose complex organic compounds in the presence...

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Aerosol
1. Small droplets or particles suspended in the atmosphere, typically contain...

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Affected Landfill
Under the Clean Air Act, landfills that meet criteria for capacity, age, and ...

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Affected Public
1.The people who live and/or work near a hazardous waste site. 2. The human p...

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Afterburner
In incinerator technology, a burner located so that the combustion gases are ...

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Age Tank
A tank used to store a chemical solution of known concentration for feed to a...

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Agent
Any physical, chemical, or biological entity that can be harmful to an organi...

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Agent Orange
A toxic herbicide and defoliant used in the Vietnam conflict, containing 2,4,...

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Agricultural Pollution
Farming wastes, including runoff and leaching of pesticides and fertilizers; ...

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Agricultural Waste
Poultry and livestock manure, and residual materials in liquid or solid form ...

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Agroecosystem
Land used for crops, pasture, and livestock; the adjacent uncultivated land t...

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AHERA Designated Person ADP
A person designated by a Local Education Agency to ensure that the AHERA requ...

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Air
The surface between the vadose zone and ambient oil; the pressure of oil in t...

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Air Binding
Situation where air enters the filter media and harms both the filtration and...

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Air Changes Per Hour ACH
The movement of a volume of air in a given period of time; if a house has one...

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Air Cleaning
Indoor-air quality-control strategy to remove various airborne particulates a...

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Air Contaminant
Any particulate matter, gas, or combination thereof, other than water vapor.

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Air Curtain
A method of containing oil spills. Air bubbling through a perforated pipe cau...

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Air Exchange Rate
The rate at which outside air replaces indoor air in a given space.

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Air Gap
Open vertical gap or empty space that separates drinking water supply to be p...

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Air Handling Unit
Equipment that includes a fan or blower, heating and/or cooling coils, regula...

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Air Mass
A large volume of air with certain meteorological or polluted characteristics...

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Air Padding
Pumping dry air into a container to assist with the withdrawal of liquid or t...

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Air Permeability
Permeability of soil with respect to air. Important to the design of soil-gas...

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Air Plenum
Any space used to convey air in a building, furnace, or structure. The space ...

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Air Pollutant
Any substance in air that could, in high enough concentration, harm man, othe...

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Air Pollution
The presence of contaminants or pollutant substances in the air that interfer...

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Air Pollution Control Device
Mechanism or equipment that cleans emissions generated by a source (e.g. an i...

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Air Pollution Episode
A period of abnormally high concentration of air pollutants, often due to low...

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Air Quality Criteria
The levels of pollution and lengths of exposure above which adverse health an...

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Air Quality Standards
The level of pollutants prescribed by regulations that are not be exceeded du...

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Air Sparging
Injecting air or oxygen into an aquifer to strip or flush volatile contaminan...

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Air Stripping
A treatment system that removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from contam...

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Air Toxics
Any air pollutant for which a national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) d...

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Airborne Particulates
Total suspended particulate matter found in the atmosphere as solid particles...

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Airborne Release
Release of any pollutant into the air.

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Alachlor
A herbicide, marketed under the trade name Lasso, used mainly to control weed...

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Alar
Trade name for daminozide, a pesticide that makes apples redder, firmer, and ...

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Aldicarb
An insecticide sold under the trade name Temik. It is made from ethyl isocyan...

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Algae
Simple rootless plants that grow in sunlit waters in proportion to the amount...

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Algal Blooms
Sudden spurts of algal growth, which can affect water quality adversely and i...

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Algicide
Substance or chemical used specifically to kill or control algae.

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Aliquot
A measured portion of a sample taken for analysis. One or more aliquots make ...

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Alkaline
The condition of water or soil which contains a sufficient amount of alkali s...

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Alkalinity
The capacity of bases to neutralize acids. An example is lime added to lakes ...

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Allergen
A substance that causes an allergic reaction in individuals sensitive to it.

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Alluvial
Relating to and/or sand deposited by flowing water.

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Alternate Method
Any method of sampling and analyzing for an air or water pollutant that is no...

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Alternative Compliance
A policy that allows facilities to choose among methods for achieving emissio...

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Alternative Fuels
Substitutes for traditional liquid, oil-derived motor vehicle fuels like gaso...

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Alternative Remedial Contract Strategy Contractors
Government contractors who provide project management and technical services ...

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Ambient Air
Any unconfined portion of the atmosphere

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Ambient Measurement
A measurement of the concentration of a substance or pollutant within the imm...

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Ambient Medium
Material surrounding or contacting an organism (e.g. outdoor air, indoor air,...

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Ambient Temperature
Temperature of the surrounding air or other medium.

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Amprometric Titration
A way of measuring concentrations of certain substances in water using an ele...

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Anaerobic
A life or process that occurs in, or is not destroyed by, the absence of oxygen.

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Anaerobic Decomposition
Reduction of the net energy level and change in chemical composition of organ...

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Analyte
A compound or property that is to be determined and/or analyzed.

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Animal Dander
Tiny scales of animal skin, a common indoor air pollutant.

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Animal Studies
Investigations using animals as surrogates for humans with the expectation th...

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Anisotropy
In hydrology, the conditions under which one or more hydraulic properties of ...

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Annular Space
The space between two concentric tubes or casings, or between the casing and ...

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Antagonism
Interference or inhibition of the effect of one chemical by the action of ano...

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Antarctic Ozone Hole
Refers to the seasonal depletion of ozone in the upper atmosphere above a lar...

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Anti-Degradation Clause
Part of federal air quality and water quality requirements prohibiting deteri...

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Anti-Microbial
An agent that kills microbes.

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Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements ARARs
Any state or federal statute that pertains to protection of human life and th...

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Applied Dose
In exposure assessment, the amount of a substance in contact with the primary...

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Aqueous
Something made up of water.

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Aqueous Solubility
The maximum concentration of a chemical that will dissolve in pure water at a...

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Aquifer
An underground geological formation, or group of formations, containing water...

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Aquifer Test
A test to determine hydraulic properties of an aquifer.

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Aquitard
Geological formation that may contain groundwater but is not capable of trans...

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Architectural Coatings
Coverings such as paint and roof tar that are used on exteriors of buildings.

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Area of Review
In the UIC program, the area surrounding an injection well that is reviewed d...

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Area Source
Any source of air pollution that is released over a relatively small area but...

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Aromatics
A type of hydrocarbon, such as benzene or toluene, with a specific type of ri...

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Arsenicals
Pesticides containing arsenic.

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Artesian Aquifer or Well
Water held under pressure in porous rock or soil confined by impermeable geol...

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Asbestos
A mineral fiber that can pollute air or water and cause cancer or asbestosis ...

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Asbestos Abatement
Procedures to control fiber release from asbestos-containing materials in a b...

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Asbestos Assessment
In the asbestos-in-schools program, the evaluation of the physical condition ...

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Asbestos Program Manager
A building owner or designated representative who supervises all aspects of t...

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Asbestos-Containing Waste Materials ACWM
Mill tailings or any waste that contains commercial asbestos and is generated...

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Asbestosis
A disease associated with inhalation of asbestos fibers. The disease makes br...

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Ash
The mineral content of a product remaining after complete combustion.

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Assay
A test for a specific chemical, microbe, or effect.

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Assessment Endpoint
In ecological risk assessment, an explicit expression of the environmental va...

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Assimilation
The ability of a body of water to purify itself of pollutants.

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Assimilative Capacity
The capacity of a natural body of water to receive wastewaters or toxic mater...

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Association of Boards of Certification
An international organization representing boards which certify the operators...

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Attainment Area
An area considered to have air quality as good as or better than the national...

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Attenuation
The process by which a compound is reduced in concentration over time, throug...

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Attractant
A chemical or agent that lures insects or other pests by stimulating their se...

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Attrition
Wearing or grinding down of a substance by friction. Dust from such processes...

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Availability Session
Informal meeting at a public location where interested citizens can talk with...

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Available Chlorine
A measure of the amount of chlorine available in chlorinated lime, hypochlori...

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Avoided Cost
The cost a utility would incur to generate the next increment of electric cap...

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