1.Completed the review and analysis of the US EPA’s Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) documents.
(1)Researched the outcome of the US EPA Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling for the US EPA’s 2006 PM2.5 and 2010 ozone standards. After reaching the attainment goals with the implemented control strategies, the cost for the health benefits in the RIAs were reviewed and evaluated. The uncertainties and restrains in the cost-benefit methods were also commented.
(2)Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP) was used in US EPA’s PM2.5 and O3 RIAs. These analyses combined the health impact functions in epidemiological studies, and the value of a statistical life (VSL) in typical economic conditions to estimate the health benefit in dollars based on the improved air quality. The US EPA’s health benefit evaluation categories including mortality-all cause, chronic lung disease, all respiratory, mortality cardiopulmonary, worker productivity, etc.
(3)The Air Control Net is a database for estimating and comparing the cost of control measures. Through different combinations of the control strategies, the cost of stricter air quality standards can be estimated. The cost information in Air Control Net includes: (1) control equipment and maintenance cost, (2) unit cost of the emissions reduction in various air pollution sources, (3) calculations of the total cost from the reduction goals of various pollution sources, (4) cost comparisons of different control strategies.
2.Completed the review and analysis of the Environmental Action Programme’s (EAP) cost-benefit method.
The EAP is a program for setting the emissions limits for the European countries to achieve the goals for the future air quality standards. Under the Clean Air for Europe Programme (CAFE), the EU applies the Regional Air Pollution Information and Simulation (RAINS) model for data management and content assessment together with the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) for quantitative benefit estimation. The process of predicting the future year in the air quality improvement we found, is similar to the process of the US EPA.
3.Completed the review and analysis of the Life Quality Index (LQI) cost-benefit method.
The Canadian Life Quality Index (LQI) is composed of the Gross Domestic Product per person (G), life expectancy at birth in good health (E), elasticity of consumption (q) and Social Willingness to Pay (SWTP) for calculating the benefit in reducing premature mortality. In addition, since the magnitude of the discount rates will greatly affects the LQI, therefore, we recommend to carefully evaluating the application criteria of the discount rates before used in the LQI estimations. This project also provides a table for comparison between LQI and traditional cost-benefit methods.
4.Established the screening principles and evaluation process for Taiwan’s air quality cost-benefit analysis.
(1)Referenced the cost-benefit methods above, the screening principles are recommended: a) simplicity in operating interface, b) widely used and frequently updated software, c) expandability to include the most current health risk studies by professional and scholars, d) flexible to estimate the cost-benefit data for different air pollutants. We recommend BenMAP for Taiwan’s air quality cost-benefit analysis.
(2)We also recommended the process for cost-benefit evaluations includes: a) establish local air emissions inventory, b) use air quality modeling for the base year and future attainment year with control strategies scenarios, c) organize the air monitoring data and develop standard sampling procedures, d) use the BenMAP to do cost-benefit analysis and utilize the Taiwan’s epidemiological scholars and economists suggested values for the health impaction functions and VSL values.
5.Estimated the cost-benefit for air quality control strategies in Taiwan.
(1)This project applied regression analysis and found a positive correlation between Taipei area’s air quality and taxing mobile source fee. Therefore, the collection of mobile source fee will help improving the air quality in Taipei. This project used BenMAP to model the health benefit in Taipei metropolitan area from 1997 to 2010. With improved ozone air quality, the results showed that the premature mortality can be reduced to 352 persons with health benefit of NTD 640 million in New Taipei City, and the premature mortality can be reduced to 188 persons in Taipei City with health benefit of NTD 340 million.
(2)Additionally, the central and Yun-Ya-Nan air zones showed a premature mortality reduction of 254 persons and a health benefit of NTD 460 million from the proposed control strategy III modeling to the achieved ozone level in the target year (2016).