skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Quantifying the efficiency and equity implications of power plant air pollution control strategies in the United States

Abstract

We modeled the public health benefits and the change in the spatial inequality of health risk for a number of hypothetical control scenarios for power plants in the United States to determine optimal control strategies. We simulated various ways by which emission reductions of sulfur dioxide (SO{sub 2}), nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) could be distributed to reach national emissions caps. We applied a source-receptor matrix to determine the PM2.5 concentration changes associated with each control scenario and estimated the mortality reductions. We estimated changes in the spatial inequality of health risk using the Atkinson index and other indicators, following previously derived axioms for measuring health risk inequality. In our baseline model, benefits ranged from 17,000-21,000 fewer premature deaths per year across control scenarios. Scenarios with greater health benefits also tended to have greater reductions in the spatial inequality of health risk, as many sources with high health benefits per unit emissions of SO{sub 2} were in areas with high background PM2.5 concentrations. Sensitivity analyses indicated that conclusions were generally robust to the choice of indicator and other model specifications. Our analysis demonstrates an approach for formally quantifying both the magnitude and spatial distribution of health benefits ofmore » pollution control strategies, allowing for joint consideration of efficiency and equity.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Harvard University, Boston, MA (United States). School for Public Health
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20906021
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Health Perspectives; Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 5
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; 20 FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS; AIR POLLUTION CONTROL; FOSSIL-FUEL POWER PLANTS; USA; PUBLIC HEALTH; SULFUR DIOXIDE; PARTICULATES; RISK ASSESSMENT; MORTALITY; SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS

Citation Formats

Levy, J.I., Wilson, A.M., and Zwack, L.M.. Quantifying the efficiency and equity implications of power plant air pollution control strategies in the United States. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1289/ehp.9712.
Levy, J.I., Wilson, A.M., & Zwack, L.M.. Quantifying the efficiency and equity implications of power plant air pollution control strategies in the United States. United States. doi:10.1289/ehp.9712.
Levy, J.I., Wilson, A.M., and Zwack, L.M.. Tue . "Quantifying the efficiency and equity implications of power plant air pollution control strategies in the United States". United States. doi:10.1289/ehp.9712.
@article{osti_20906021,
title = {Quantifying the efficiency and equity implications of power plant air pollution control strategies in the United States},
author = {Levy, J.I. and Wilson, A.M. and Zwack, L.M.},
abstractNote = {We modeled the public health benefits and the change in the spatial inequality of health risk for a number of hypothetical control scenarios for power plants in the United States to determine optimal control strategies. We simulated various ways by which emission reductions of sulfur dioxide (SO{sub 2}), nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) could be distributed to reach national emissions caps. We applied a source-receptor matrix to determine the PM2.5 concentration changes associated with each control scenario and estimated the mortality reductions. We estimated changes in the spatial inequality of health risk using the Atkinson index and other indicators, following previously derived axioms for measuring health risk inequality. In our baseline model, benefits ranged from 17,000-21,000 fewer premature deaths per year across control scenarios. Scenarios with greater health benefits also tended to have greater reductions in the spatial inequality of health risk, as many sources with high health benefits per unit emissions of SO{sub 2} were in areas with high background PM2.5 concentrations. Sensitivity analyses indicated that conclusions were generally robust to the choice of indicator and other model specifications. Our analysis demonstrates an approach for formally quantifying both the magnitude and spatial distribution of health benefits of pollution control strategies, allowing for joint consideration of efficiency and equity.},
doi = {10.1289/ehp.9712},
journal = {Environmental Health Perspectives},
number = 5,
volume = 115,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}