An Integrated Framework for Multipollutant Air Quality Management and Its Application in Georgia
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- Cohan, D.S., Boylan, J.W., Marmur, A. et al. Environmental Management (2007) 40: 545. doi:10.1007/s00267-006-0228-4
Air protection agencies in the United States increasingly confront non-attainment of air quality standards for multiple pollutants sharing interrelated emission origins. Traditional approaches to attainment planning face important limitations that are magnified in the multipollutant context. Recognizing those limitations, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has adopted an integrated framework to address ozone, fine particulate matter, and regional haze in the state. Rather than applying atmospheric modeling merely as a final check of an overall strategy, photochemical sensitivity analysis is conducted upfront to compare the effectiveness of controlling various precursor emission species and source regions. Emerging software enables the modeling of health benefits and associated economic valuations resulting from air pollution control. Photochemical sensitivity and health benefits analyses, applied together with traditional cost and feasibility assessments, provide a more comprehensive characterization of the implications of various control options. The fuller characterization both informs the selection of control options and facilitates the communication of impacts to affected stakeholders and the public. Although the integrated framework represents a clear improvement over previous attainment-planning efforts, key remaining shortcomings are also discussed.