EPA's Clean Air Act Bolstered By Health & Safety Stats

Regulator - a reporting software tool for emissions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report today estimating the benefits of reducing fine particle and ground level ozone pollution.  Not surprisingly, there are health benefits -- and related financial benefits -- of cleaner air.  What is in fact kind of surprising is seeing the data spelled out in detail.

The report studied the effects between 1990 and 2020 of updates to the 1990 Clean Air Act.  The study focused on the:
  • economy
  • public health and 
  • the environment 
Overall, the EPA said, the benefits of the Clean Air Act exceed the benefits estimated in this report, with millions of lives saved since its inception since 1970.

Health and Safety Successes

We all like an Environmental, Health & Safety success story.  This report seems to deliver.  For instance, the stats say that in 2010 the reductions in fine particle and ozone pollution prevented more than:
  • 160,000 cases of premature mortality
  • 130,000 heart attacks
  • 13,000,000 lost work days
  • 1,700,000 asthma attacks
The reductions of fine particle and ozone pollution had to be directly related to 1990 Clean Air Act amendments to qualify.

Projected to Save $2 Trillion by 2020

Projected benefits by 2020 are even greater, when the cleaner air amendments will prevent more than:
  • 230,000 cases of premature mortality
  • 200,000 heart attacks
  • 17,000,000 lost work days 
  • 2.4,000,000 asthma attacks
EPA's report estimates that the monetary value of the Health & Safety savings will reach approximately $2 trillion in 2020.

“The Clean Air Act’s decades-long track record of success has helped millions of Americans live healthier, safer and more productive lives,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

Jackson also noted the "extraordinary health and economic benefits of one of our nation's most transformative environmental laws."  She pointed out that it demonstrates the power of unified political approaches to protecting the health of the American people from pollution in the environment.

For more information on emissions reports and this EPA report in particular, stay tuned to this blog.
Kathleen Hurley