Next Article in Journal
Effect of Manure vs. Fertilizer Inputs on Productivity of Forage Crop Models
Next Article in Special Issue
A Framework for Integrating Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
An Ecologic Analysis of County-Level PM2.5 Concentrations and Lung Cancer Incidence and Mortality
Previous Article in Special Issue
Making the Environmental Justice Grade: The Relative Burden of Air Pollution Exposure in the United States
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1872-1892;

Distributional Benefit Analysis of a National Air Quality Rule

Environment and Resources Division, Abt Associates Inc., 4550 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 800 North, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 April 2011 / Accepted: 21 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Justice)
PDF [965 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Under Executive Order 12898, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must perform environmental justice (EJ) reviews of its rules and regulations. EJ analyses address the hypothesis that environmental disamenities are experienced disproportionately by poor and/or minority subgroups. Such analyses typically use communities as the unit of analysis. While community-based approaches make sense when considering where polluting sources locate, they are less appropriate for national air quality rules affecting many sources and pollutants that can travel thousands of miles. We compare exposures and health risks of EJ-identified individuals rather than communities to analyze EPA’s Heavy Duty Diesel (HDD) rule as an example national air quality rule. Air pollutant exposures are estimated within grid cells by air quality models; all individuals in the same grid cell are assigned the same exposure. Using an inequality index, we find that inequality within racial/ethnic subgroups far outweighs inequality between them. We find, moreover, that the HDD rule leaves between-subgroup inequality essentially unchanged. Changes in health risks depend also on subgroups’ baseline incidence rates, which differ across subgroups. Thus, health risk reductions may not follow the same pattern as reductions in exposure. These results are likely representative of other national air quality rules as well. View Full-Text
Keywords: distributional analysis; environmental justice; air quality regulation; health benefits distributional analysis; environmental justice; air quality regulation; health benefits
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Post, E.S.; Belova, A.; Huang, J. Distributional Benefit Analysis of a National Air Quality Rule. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 1872-1892.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top