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Valuing the Clean Air Act

How Do We Know How Much Clean Air is Worth?

By J. Scott Holladay
July 11, 2011

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Filed under Environmental Health, Academic Articles/Working Papers

EPA recently released a study evaluating the costs and benefits of amendments to the Clean Air Act between 1990 and 2020 to see what cleaner air means for human health and the economy. It attributes billions of dollars in benefits to cleaner air.

Holladay’s analysis of EPA’s numbers finds that they’re based on sound science. What the EPA is able to value, it does in the most rigorous, academically defensible manner. What they are not able to value, demonstrates that these estimates are a floor, not a ceiling. Overall the results show, in dollars and cents, that the Clean Air Amendments are a good investment.