Workshop on Estimating the Benefits of Reducing Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)
Phone: (703) 347-8565
Workshop on Estimating the Benefits of
Reducing Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)
Washington Marriott, Washington, DC
April 30 and May 1, 2009
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened experts from different disciplines and backgrounds to discuss how to best move forward on air toxics benefits assessment both in the near term and in the longer term. In addition to developing a draft “roadmap,” EPA commissioned outside experts to write white papers on specific topics to frame the workshop discussions. The future of air toxics benefits assessment was explored through presentations, as well as panel discussions with experts in toxicology and risk assessment.
This workshop built upon the work accomplished in the June 2000 Science Advisory Board/EPA Workshop on the Benefits of Reductions in Exposure to Hazardous Air Pollutants, which generated thoughtful discussion on approaches to estimating human health benefits from reductions in air toxics exposure, but no consensus was reached on methods that could be implemented in the near term for a broad selection of air toxics.
Eight years later, EPA confronted many of the same technical challenges identified in the 2000 workshop. However, the Agency has also made progress. The completion of a draft case study of the monetized benefits of reductions in cancer from exposure to benzene in Houston, Texas, and the derivation of a chronic non-cancer dose-response curve suitable for use in a benefits analysis both mark significant advancements in our ability to quantify the benefits of reducing emissions of HAPs. The benzene case study was reviewed by the SAB in May 2008. In their consensus letter to the Administrator, SAB members were impressed with the work that went into the case study and agreed with the methodology of the report, but they were not optimistic that this approach could be repeated on a national scale or extended to many of the other HAPs. They urged EPA to consider alternative approaches, including looking at “more integrated multi-pollutant approaches.” As a result of these recommendations, EPA organized this follow-up workshop on the future of air toxics benefits assessment in order to provide them input in developing a “roadmap” of options for advancing air toxics benefits assessment with advice from outside experts in the field.
Workshop topics included:
- Background on Estimating Air Toxics Benefits
- Proposed Near-Term Approach: Focus on Limited Number of HAPs
- Perspectives on HAPs Toxicity, Dose-response, and Uncertainty
- Lessons Learned from Recent Research
- Proposed Near-Term Options for Benefits Assessment – EPA’s Draft Roadmap
- Strengths/Weaknesses of Roadmap
- Longer-Term Approach – EPA Perspective
- Other Perspectives on Longer-Term Approach
White Paper Discussion Topics Included:
- Alternatives to Pollutant-by-Pollutant Dose-Response Estimation
- Innovative Approaches to Air Toxics Benefits
- Valuing Reductions in High Individual Mortality Risks
- Meeting Report: Estimating the Benefits of Reducing Hazardous Air Pollutants: Summary of 2009 Workshop and Future Considerations - from Environmental Health Perspectives
- Agenda and Background Document- Final version (PDF) (4 pp., 46KB, about PDF)
- General Information Sheet for the HAPS Workshop (PDF) (4 pp., 95KB, about PDF)
- U.S. EPA Draft Road Map (PDF) (26 pp., 241KB, about PDF)
- HAPS Workshop Presentations/White Papers
- SAB Review of Benzene Reductions in Houston 1990-2020 - Section 812 Air Toxics Health Benefits Case Study
- Benefits of Reducing Benzene Emissions in Houston, 1990-2020 (PDF). (21 pp., 129KB, about PDF), EPA-COUNCIL-08-001
For further information, you may contact Dr. Maureen Gwinn, U.S. EPA, National Center for Environmental Assessment, at Gwinn.Maureen@epa.gov or 703-347-8565.