Raff, Zach

September, 2020

By: Raff, Zach ; Walter, Jason M.
This study evaluates the health benefits and abatement costs of the PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) at coal-fired power plants. We find that the emission reductions from the PM2.5 NAAQS between 1995 and 2016 are sizable and that the health benefits from these reductions far exceed the abatement expenditures of affected plants. We then use this ex post analysis to simulate future health benefits and abatement costs in this sector from more stringent PM2.5 standards. Our policy simulation shows that tightening these standards to levels recommended by the World Health Organization also passes a benefit-cost test.