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Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act

Second Prospective Study - 1990 to 2020

On March 1, 2011, EPA released the Second Prospective Study estimating the benefits and costs of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Among other insights, the study found that

1. The direct benefits of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and associated programs significantly exceed their direct costs, which means economic welfare and quality of life for Americans were improved by passage of the 1990 Amendments.

The wide margin by which benefits exceed costs combined with extensive uncertainty analysis suggest it is very unlikely this result would be reversed using any reasonable alternative assumptions or methods.

2. The economy as a whole is also stronger with 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment programs as cleaner air leads to better health and productivity for American workers and less money spent on health care to treat air pollution-related health problems.

Economy-wide modeling shows that long-term economic growth is greater and American household economic welfare is improved because benefits such as fewer sick days and lower medical costs more than offset the economy-wide cost of investing in air pollution control.

Two versions of the study report were published: a full report which integrates all the major analytical components of the study and provides full documentation of the study and its results, and a summary report which conveys the essential design and results of the study. Copies of the integrated report and the summary report can be downloaded by following the links below:

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020: Summary Report (PDF) (34 pp, 1.3 MB) - Washington, D.C., March 2011

The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020 (PDF) (238 pp, 4 MB) - Washington, D.C., Updated final report April 2011.


Text Box:      Figure 1.  Major analytical components of the Second Prospective Study.

The major analytical components of the Second Prospective Study are shown in Figure 1. For some components of the study, such as Scenario Development and Benefit-Cost Comparison, the full report of the Second Prospective Study provides full documentation of the methods and results. For other major components of the study, supporting technical reports are available which provide additional technical information.

Supporting technical reports which have been released as final documents are available for download at the links below. Those major analytical component technical reports which are available only in draft are marked as [PENDING] on this page, and download links to final versions of these technical reports will be posted on this page as they become available. Preliminary review drafts of these reports are available for download now on the Second Prospective Study external review web page, though it is important to note that the methods and results documented in these preliminary review drafts may have been superseded by methods and results documented in the final full report and/or in more recent technical memoranda, which are also available on the external review web page.

Some analytical components also have additional, minor supporting documents such as proposed methodology white papers - which were made public as part of the external expert review of the Second Prospective Study. Electronic copies of these minor supplementary documents are also available for download on the Second Prospective Study external review web page.

Emissions

Direct Cost

Air Quality Modeling

Health and Welfare Effects (including Economic Valuation)

HAP Case Study

Uncertainty Analysis

  • Final report pending. (will be posted when available)

Macroeconomic Modeling

  • Final report pending. (will be posted when available)

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