Washington Dept. of Ecology 2004 - "The Economic Benefits of Clean Air

Washington Dept. of Ecology
"The Economic Benefits of Clean Air"
Created Sept 2002, updated June 2004
Publication number 02-02-011
On the Web
Relevance: medium

The Washington State Department of Ecology says that

  • “Washington citizens save over $2 billion per year in health costs because the air is cleaner now than it was in 1990.”
  • “Washington businesses save at least $17 million per year because cleaner air means fewer lost workdays or lost productivity due to illness caused by air pollution, according to EPA.”
  • “Based on EPA estimates of cancer risks and measured pollution levels in Washington, [levels] of 11 high risk Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) […] may result in as many as 30 cancer cased per year in Washington that would not otherwise have occurred. The cost of medical treatment alone for these is about $3,000,000.” 

It also estimates that if central Puget Sound and Clark county returned to ozone non-attainment, it would cost businesses $253 million for required cleaner gasoline and additional pollution controls.  In central Puget Sound it would also cost consumers about $10 million a year (1 penny per gallon) for required cleaner gasoline. In addition, we would lose local control over clean air strategies.

(Note that these estimates cover all air pollution, including industrial emissions and agricultural burning.)


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