Evaluating the Effects of Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments on Air Quality

EPA Grant Number: R834677C168
Subproject: this is subproject number 168 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R834677
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Health Effects Institute (2010 — 2015)
Center Director: Greenbaum, Daniel S.
Title: Evaluating the Effects of Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments on Air Quality
Investigators: Morgenstern, Richard
Institution: Resources For the Future , Health Effects Institute (HEI)
EPA Project Officer: Hunt, Sherri
Project Period: April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2015
RFA: Health Effects Institute (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health Effects , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air


Title IV of the Clean Air Act of 1990, entitled “Acid Deposition Control,” called for a permanent 10-million-ton reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from 1980 levels and required installation of continuous monitoring equipment for SO2 emissions to ensure compliance and track improvements. Beginning with the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set standards for PM2.5 concentrations, and $128 million was appropriated for a nationwide array of PM2.5 monitoring stations known as the Air Quality System monitoring network.

When evaluating a regulatory action intended to improve air quality, either prospectively or retrospectively, EPA scientists frequently employ a chemical transport model, such as the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system. One key limitation to the use of such models is that they are based on modeling estimations and not monitoring data. For the current study, Morgenstern and his team proposed a novel model that was data-driven, in that it depended on measured values of emissions and pollutant concentrations and was inherently observational. The statistical models that the investigators propose to develope would link changes in emissions of SO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOx) to changes in ambient PM2.5 concentrations that are broadly based on source–receptor models, widely used for source apportionment. More specifically, the investigators will base their work on a “spatial econometric” approach, incorporating a statistical accounting of emissions in the manner of economic analysis, adapted for the current purposes of associating emissions and air pollution levels.


The investigators’ intend to conduct their study as follows:

  1. To assess what portion, if any, of the observed reductions in ambient concentrations of PM2.5 that occurred in the United States in the years 1999–2005 could be credited to emissions reductions resulting from the implementation of Title IV Phase 2 of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments; and
  2. To develop a statistical modeling approach to link observed changes in emissions of SO2 and NOx from power plants to changes in PM2.5 concentrations.

The models for the study will be built using three datasets. Two of these, the EPA’s Clean Air Markets database and the National Emissions Inventory database, provide inventories of source emissions of SO2 and NOx. The third, will be modeled as receptor data, consists of air quality monitoring data from the EPA’s Air Quality System.


Expected Results:

The investigators’ work will contribute to the discussion of what portions of PM reductions can be attributed to an emissions reduction program, with an approach that might be a useful alternative to atmospheric models in some applications. A model that estimates ambient air quality changes secondary to emissions changes might also be applied to estimating changes in criteria pollutants secondary to regulations aimed at reducing industrial emissions or even greenhouse gas emissions. This research and these models might also be able to provide useful information to organizations that want a quick estimate of how much specific emitting facilities affect specific pollutant monitors or even communities, although atmospheric pollution dispersion models might be more readily applied.

Relevant Websites:

http://pubs.healtheffects.org/getfile.php?u=883 Exit

Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R834677    Health Effects Institute (2010 — 2015)

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R834677C149 Development and Application of a Sensitive Method to Determine Concentrations of Acrolein and Other Carbonyls in Ambient Air
R834677C150 Mutagenicity of Stereochemical Configurations of 1,3-Butadiene Epoxy Metabolites in Human Cells
R834677C151 Biologic Effects of Inhaled Diesel Exhaust in Young and Old Mice: A Pilot Project
R834677C152 Evaluating Heterogeneity in Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution Using Land-Use Regression and Constrained Factor Analysis
R834677C153 Improved Source Apportionment and Speciation of Low-Volume Particulate Matter Samples
R834677C155 The Impact of the Congestion Charging Scheme on Air Quality in London
R834677C156 Concentrations of Air Toxics in Motor Vehicle-Dominated Environments
R834677C158 Air Toxics Exposure from Vehicle Emissions at a U.S. Border Crossing: Buffalo Peace Bridge Study
R834677C159 Role of Neprilysin in Airway Inflammation Induced by Diesel Exhaust Emissions
R834677C160 Personal and Ambient Exposures to Air Toxics in Camden, New Jersey
R834677C162 Assessing the Impact of a Wood Stove Replacement Program on Air Quality and Children’s Health
R834677C163 The London Low Emission Zone Baseline Study
R834677C165 Effects of Controlled Exposure to Diesel Exhaust in Allergic Asthmatic Individuals
R834677C168 Evaluating the Effects of Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments on Air Quality
R834677C172 Potential Air Toxics Hot Spots in Truck Terminals and Cabs
R834677C173 Detection and Characterization of Nanoparticles from Motor Vehicles
R834677C174 Cardiorespiratory Biomarker Responses in Healthy Young Adults to Drastic Air Quality Changes Surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympics