Title: Analysis of the Potential Health Impacts of Reducing Ozone Levels in the OTR Using BenMAP – 2018 Edition
Organization: Ozone Transport Commission OTC Modeling Committee
Publication Date: January 3, 2019
Role: Primary Analyst and Author
In 2015, the 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) was lowered to 70 ppb. This was the high end of the range recommended by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) originally and in the rule proposal by Administrator McCarthy. The lower end of the range proposed by EPA was 65 ppb. Additionally, recent research has shown health effects from ozone occur at even lower levels. Given that health effects could be caused at levels closer to what is considered background we decided to also look at 40 ppb which close to a level considered to be United States Background (USB). As a result three levels of ozone were investigated in this analysis: 70 ppb, 65 ppb, and 40 ppb.
Each year that air quality does not meet the NAAQS the health of the populations exposed to the poor air quality are impacted. OTC began examining the potential health impacts of these levels of exposure starting in 2011 and as of writing 2017 is the most recent year for which data is available. As a result the analysis will focus on each ozone season for which data has been processed, 2011-2017, with the intention of adding new information annually.
Several states in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) exceed the NAAQS set by EPA, which were set to a level to adequately protect the public health. This implies that populations in the OTR would receive a health benefit if the entire OTR were to meet the NAAQS. Additionally, even more monitors have values above the other thresholds discussed.
This paper looks at the benefits that would have occurred each year from 2011-2017, using monitored data had the entire OTR met ozone levels of 70 ppb, 65 ppb, and 40 ppb as estimated using health benefit and economic functions that came from peer reviewed sources employed by EPA in many studies processed with BenMAP.
We estimated that approximately 600 – 2,400 persons would have not died prematurely in a given year 2011-2017 had the OTR air quality attained a level that met the 70 ppb Ozone NAAQS with even more persons that would not have died if ozone levels were even lower. As a point comparison in 2014 about 2,600 people died of homicide in the OTR and all of Virginia, 1,500 of HIV/AIDS, and 1,300 of Hepatitis C, which places deaths from ozone exposure among other notable health crises. Additionally, we estimated that there would have been economic benefit to the region in the range of $5-19 billion in all health impacts from reducing ozone to 70 ppb in any given year.
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Title: Ozone Transport Commission/Mid- Atlantic Northeastern Visibility Union 2011 Based Modeling Platform Support Document – October 2018 Update
Organization: OTC Modeling Committee
Publication Date: October 18, 2018
Roles: Primary Author and Compiler, Primary Analyst for Chapter 13
This report is intended to document committee work completed by the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) and the Mid-Atlantic Northeastern Visibility Union (MANE-VU) using a photochemical modeling platform based on the year 2011. The modeling exercises documented within demonstrate acceptable performance of the platform as required for State Implementation Plans (SIPs), specifically attainment demonstrations owed by New Jersey, New York and Connecticut for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and the 2028 Regional Haze SIPs. Documented exercises are committee products and are primarily base case runs, with the exception of the MANE-VU control case representing the MANE-VU “Ask.” Unless otherwise indicated, modeling exercises rely on generally accepted conservative assumptions regarding emissions inventories and ozone photochemistry. This document does not contain every modeling exercise completed by the OTC, MANE-VU, and member states using the OTC/MANE-VU 2011 based modeling platform. Some exploratory screening analyses, modeling performed outside of committee efforts, and work performed in Maryland using a “best science” platform are not included in this documentation. Member states performing additional SIP relevant modeling intend to document those efforts in their individual SIP supporting documentation.
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Title: Impact of Wintertime SCR/SNCR Optimization on Visibility Impairing Nitrate Precursor Emissions
Orgranization: MANE-VU Technical Support Committee
Publication Date: November 20, 2017
Role: Primary Analyst and Author
During the first planning phase for regional haze, programs that were put in place focused on reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. The reductions achieved led to improvements in visibility at the MANE-VU Federal Class I Areas due to reduced sulfates formed from SO2 emissions. The reduction in visibility impairment from sulfates resulted in nitrates driving the visibility impairment rather than sulfates in some MANE-VU Class I Areas on the 20% most impaired days, in particular, during the winter months. Nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions are an important precursor to the formation of nitrates.
Often Electric Generating Units (EGUs) only run NOX emission controls to comply with ozone season trading programs; consequently, emissions of NOX are uncontrolled during the winter. Controlling winter-time NOX emissions at EGUs using existing controls is generally more cost-effective compared to other sectors that would have to install and bear the capital costs of control equipment solely for improving visibility.
We looked at the visibility data and observed emission rates from EGUs with installed selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) controls, and compared those rates to projected emissions using the ERTAC EGU tool, to show the potential NOX emissions reductions from running existing SCR and SNCR during the winter months.
We found that the number of most impaired days occurring during the winter is increasing at all Class I areas, in particular Brigantine, and that Brigantine and Lye Brook are seeing nitrate impairment in high levels during those times. We also found that back trajectories from those sites during the winter often traverse MANE-VU and LADCO states with power plant emissions. We found that running existing installed controls is one of the most cost-effective ways to control NOX emissions from EGUs and that running existing SCRs and SNCRs on EGUs could substantially reduce the NOX emissions in many of the states upwind of Class I areas in MANE-VU that lead to visibility impairment during the winter from nitrates.
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Title: Recommendations Concerning Regional Idling Strategy in the OTR
Organization: OTC Mobile Source Committee, Idling Workgroup
Publication Date: October 30, 2017
Roles: Primary Author and Analyst
The OTC charged the Mobile Source Committee at the 2016 Fall Meeting to “develop a recommendation [for a regional idling strategy] which should be based on the principles of the Best Practices document adopted by OTC in 2015.” This paper is intended to weigh several options for such a program and put forth a recommendation of what should be pursued.
The options to be considered:
1. Truck Stop Electrification (TSE) expansion
2. Electric Transport Refrigeration Units (eTRU)
3. Port strategies
4. Locomotive idling
5. Nonroad Idling model rule adoption
6. Idling reduction commitments
7. Enforcement/regional governmental body education efforts
8. Regional owner/operator education efforts
None of these options alone will solve the problem of unnecessary idling. A successful set of policies will require engineering solutions, education of owners/operators, and enforcement of regulations in tandem. There are additional technological solutions that were discussed in OTC’s Overview of Efforts to Reduce Idling in the Ozone Transport Region, but a nationwide approach to adoption of a one-size fits all technology for individual tractor trailers, trains, etc. would be beyond the scope of these recommendations which are focused regionally.
After discussions with stakeholders, review of documents, and other research the following recommendations were developed for each option. Since states each have their own vehicle fleet mixes, priorities, and limitations they are listed in no set order of priority.
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Title: Benefits of Combined Heat and Power Systems for Reducing Pollutant Emissions in MANE-VU States
Organization: MANE-VU Technical Support Committee
Publication Date: March 9, 2016
Role: Primary Author and Analyst
Combined Heat & Power (CHP), or cogeneration, is a general term that refers to converting systems that separately produce heat and electricity to integrated systems that produce both. A traditional system with separate power and heat production can achieve an efficiency of 45%, whereas CHP can achieve efficiencies of 80%. A more advanced type of system called trigeneration uses a single integrated process for heating, electricity, and cooling. In addition to the efficiency benefits associated with CHP, transmission losses are decreased since electricity is now produced closer to the end user. This report examines the benefits of installing cogeneration or trigeneration systems for different applications in the MANE-VU states.
This report incorporates an analysis conducted by ICF international that examined the technical and economic potential for CHP installations on a national basis. The ERTAC EGU tool was then used to estimate criteria pollutant benefits from reduced generation in the power sector. With the CHP technologies discussed in the paper,increases in CHP penetration would lead to significant decreases in SO2pollution in MANE-VU due to displacement of current base load generation. Conversely,there was an increase in onsite NOX emissions from CHP systems in some of the scenarios examined. Smaller CHP systems would need to meet the NOX standards outlined in the OTC Stationary Generator Model Rule to have a benefit. Larger systems would have a NOX emission benefit if Lowest Achievable Emission Rates (LAER) were applied.
MANE-VU TSC – Combined Heat and Power Status Report – Final