The Health Consequences of Weak Regulation: Evidence from Excess Emissions in Texas
72 Pages Posted: 9 May 2019
Date Written: May 3, 2019
Excess emissions are air pollution releases that exceed permitted levels and occur during facility start-ups, shutdowns, or malfunctions. While they are violations of the federal Clean Air Act, states have historically granted violating facilities automatic exemptions; limiting enforcement and weakening existing regulation. Recent efforts to harmonize state and federal rules have ignited debate surrounding optimal excess emissions regulation. Using Texas data from 2002-2017, we show robust evidence on the costs of excess emissions. We find that excess emissions increase harmful nearby pollution and elderly mortality, and are responsible for over $250 million in annual damages in Texas alone.
Keywords: excess emissions, air pollution, mortality
JEL Classification: I18, Q53, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation