We already know that EPA’s proposed rule to reduce power plant pollution in the eastern U.S. is good for public health. An analysis prepared for Environmental Defense Fund (using EPA methodologies) shows that the sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions from eastern power plants are associated with as many as 60,000 deaths, 3.1 million lost work days, and 18 million acute respiratory symptoms each year — and that's due to particulate pollution alone.
But there are also economic benefits to EPA's proposed clean air protections, as evidenced in a new report called "Expensive Neighbors: The Hidden Cost of Harmful Pollution to Downwind Employers and Businesses."
This important report reinforces BOTH the health and economic benefits of EPA's proposed Transport Rule. Once again, we see that public health and environmental protection benefit the economy. We should stop being surprised by this. Since its adoption, the Clean Air Act has provided at least $30 in benefits for every dollar of investment, and our national gross domestic product has grown by 207 percent.
The bottom line: EPA should finalize the transport rule now.
The new report was authored by Charles J. Cicchetti, Ph.D., a Senior Advisor to Navigant Consulting. It was co-sponsored by the Clean Air Council, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, the Chester Environmental Partnership, and Eddystone Residents for Positive Change. Third party review and feedback was provided by the Academy of Natural Science's Center for Environmental Policy, and by A. Myrick Freeman III, the William D. Shipman Professor of Economics Emeritus at Bowdoin College.
You can read the entire report here.