The Health Consequences of Weak Regulation: Evidence from Excess Emissions in Texas

72 Pages Posted: 9 May 2019

See all articles by Alex Hollingsworth

Alex Hollingsworth

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

David Konisky

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Nikolaos Zirogiannis

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Date Written: May 3, 2019

Abstract

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

Hollingsworth, Alex and Konisky, David and Zirogiannis, Nikolaos, The Health Consequences of Weak Regulation: Evidence from Excess Emissions in Texas (May 3, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3382541 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3382541

Alex Hollingsworth (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

HOME PAGE: http://alexjhollingsworth.com

David Konisky

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Nikolaos Zirogiannis

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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