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Reducing Carbon Emissions will also Help Clean the Air that We Breath

May 27, 2014; 2:37 PM ET

A first-of-its-kind study out of Syracuse and Harvard Universities shows that setting stronger carbon emission control standards for existing power plants would also greatly reduce air pollutants, which would likely lead to significant gains in public and environmental health.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to release the nation's first-ever carbon pollution standard for existing powerplants on June 2nd.

The researchers used three policy options for the forthecoming EPA rule as a guide to model changes in power plant emissions of four harmful air pollutants (fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury), according to the Syracuse University press release.

The best option decreased sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions by 27 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 22 percent by the year 2020, compared to a business-as-usual scenario.

Excerpt from the press release......

"Our analysis demonstrates that strong carbon standards could also have widespread benefits to air quality and public health," said Dr. Jonathan Buonocore, of the Harvard School of Public Health at Harvard University. "With a mix of stringency and flexibility, the new EPA rules have the potential to substantially reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from power plants, which contribute to local and regional air pollution. This is an opportunity to both mitigate climate change and protect public health."

Here is a link that allows you to look at the high-resolution maps for this study.

This is a link to the full study 'Co-benefits of Carbon Standards'

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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