Further cuts in power plant air pollution

On 6 July 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a regulation, called the transport rule, that will target power plant air pollution that drifts across the borders of 31 eastern states and the District of Columbia. By 2014, the transport rule and other state and EPA actions would reduce SO2 and NOx emissions by respectively 71 and 52 per cent over 2005 levels.

The measures would yield more than US$120 billion in annual health benefits in 2014, including avoiding an estimated 14,000 to 36,000 premature deaths, 23,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 21,000 cases of acute bronchitis, 240,000 cases of aggravated asthma, and 1.9 million days when people miss school or work due to ozone- and particle pollution-related symptoms. These benefits would far outweigh the annual cost of compliance with the proposed rule, which EPA estimates at US$2.8 billion in 2014.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/airtransport

In this issue