New Air Quality Maps

Air Quality Improvements in Large Cities Under the Clean Power Plan

New report released May 11, 2017

  • 41 million people in US cities would gain cleaner air if officials uphold the nation’s commitment under the Paris Accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power plants, as demonstrated by new maps released today by Syracuse University scientists and colleagues.

  • The anticipated air quality improvements would prevent 3500 premature deaths per year nationwide and provide annual economic benefits of $50 billion.



Full Report

Air Quality in Large Cities Map Cover

Fine Particulate Matter in Large Cities Map

Map of Fine Particulate Matter Improvement in Large Cities

Ozone in Large Cities Map

Map of Ozone in Large Cities


Map details:

The maps depict changes in fine particulate matter and ozone concentrations in large cities that are expected to occur with the implementation of power plant standards like the Clean Power Plan. The policy depicted in the maps would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the US power sector by 35% from 2005 levels and allow for flexible compliance mechanisms. The resulting improvements in air quality are shown for 41 cities with populations greater than 330,000. Larger gains are indicated by darker shades of green. The size of the circle indicates the number of people who will benefit from improved air quality in the location.



The maps are based on results from Driscoll et al. 2015, Nature Climate Change. US power plant carbon standards and clean air and health co-benefits. doi:10.1038/nclimate2598.

The estimates of economic benefits are based on Buonocore et al. 2016, PLoS One. An Analysis of Costs and Health Co-Benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard.