MIT study reports 29,000 premature deaths/yr in PJM states from electric generation; Wonder how many deaths in MISO states?

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   September 11, 2013  /   Posted in Uncategorized  /   No Comments
The state of Indiana is in both the PJM and MISO regions. Only Indiana Michigan Power or I&M which is a part of American Electric Power (AEP) is part of PJM.Who can do a similar study for the MISO states? Hey Purdue University and Indiana University how about doing that? Thankfully, Indiana is not at the top of the list for premature deaths but we are on the list. A similar study of MISO states might show Indiana closer to the top of the list.

Electric Power Emissions: 29,000 Deaths/Year in PJM

 / FERC & Federal News

Air pol­lu­tion from elec­tric gen­er­a­tion is respon­si­ble for more than 29,000 pre­ma­ture deaths annu­ally in PJM states, more than any other air pol­lu­tion source, accord­ing to a new study by researchers at the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Technology.

Annual Average Particulate Matter Polution from Electric Generation (Source: MIT)

(Source: MIT)

The study found that fine par­tic­u­lates (PM2.5) and ozone pol­lu­tion from elec­tric gen­er­a­tion caused 52,000 deaths in the con­ti­nen­tal U.S. annu­ally, sec­ond only to the 53,000 deaths attrib­uted to tailpipe emis­sions from autos. Within PJM states, auto pol­lu­tion was sec­ond, respon­si­ble for more than 23,000 pre­ma­ture deaths.

All told, includ­ing other emis­sion sources, such as indus­trial smoke­stacks, com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial heat­ing and cook­ing and marine and rail trans­porta­tion, air pol­lu­tion is respon­si­ble for 200,000 deaths annu­ally, the study found.

Coal-burning Ken­tucky, West Vir­ginia and Ohio had the high­est elec­tric gen­er­a­tion mor­tal­ity rates in PJM, with Kentucky’s 40.2 deaths per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion nearly dou­ble the rate for New Jer­sey (22.2). New Jer­sey has a higher over­all death rate, how­ever due to higher impacts from autos, ship­ping and com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial emissions.

Among cities, the Bal­ti­more met­ro­pol­i­tan area ranked worst, with an annual mor­tal­ity rate of 130 per 100,000 due to high emis­sions from power gen­er­a­tion, autos and industry.

Per­sons who die from an air pollution-related cause typ­i­cally have about a decade cut from their lifes­pan, accord­ing to Steven Bar­rett, an assis­tant pro­fes­sor of aero­nau­tics and astro­nau­tics who was one of the authors of the study.

The researchers found that the impact of auto emis­sions was high­est in densely pop­u­lated areas while power plants emis­sions, which are deposited at a higher alti­tude, were more dispersed.

Premature Deaths from Electric Generation Emissions (Source: MIT)

(Source: MIT)

The high­est elec­tric generation-related death rates were in the east-central U.S. and Mid­west, which researchers sug­gested was due to the burn­ing of coal with higher sul­fur con­tent than burned in the west.

The Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency esti­mates that 74 mil­lion peo­ple in the U.S. are exposed to lev­els of PM

2.5 higher than per­mit­ted by the Clean Air Act and that more than 131 mil­lion live in regions not com­pli­ant with ozone lim­its. The EPA com­puted the costs for the imple­men­ta­tion of the 1990 Clean Air Act to be about $65 bil­lion from 1990 to 2020, poten­tially avoid­ing 230,000 pre­ma­ture deaths in 2020.

The MIT researchers based their study on data from EPA’s National Emis­sions Inven­tory. The results were pub­lished in the jour­nal Atmos­pheric Envi­ron­ment.

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