How Much Does Bad Air In LA and Central Valley Cost California?

An economic study has been published showing that the costs of air pollution to the 20 million Californians living in the state’s (and nation’s) two most polluted regions, the LA basin and San Joaquin Valley, to be around $28 billion annually.
November 21, 2008, 12pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Jane Hall, professor of economics at California State University Fullerton and the leader of the team that did the study and has researched the impact of air pollution for two decades". Her team looked at the effects of air pollution that "account for billions of dollars a year in economic losses because of premature death, chronic illness, hospitalizations and missed school and workdays."

"The cost of air pollution in the two regions - which are the top violators of the federal Clean Air Act - is estimated at $28 billion a year."

The study looked at air pollution year-round, i.e. smog (or ozone) in the summer and particulate matter, e.g. soot, in the winter.

"Counties in the Los Angeles metropolitan region on average exceeded ozone standards up to 120 days" a year between 2005 and 2007, with the most days in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The San Joaquin Valley on average exceeded ozone standards up to 139." days a year. The Los Angeles region exceeded particulate standards up to 48 days a year, and in the valley, up to 76 days a year. To comply with federal standards, both regions would have to cut their ozone and particulate levels in half.

In comparison, so far this year, the Bay Area's air quality has exceeded the federal ozone standard on 12 days and the particulate standard on five days."

From Sacramento Bee editorial:
"The newest air study comes just as the California Air Resources Board is poised to vote on landmark regulations designed to reduce emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks."

Thanks to Susan Frank

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, November 13, 2008 in San Francisco Chronicle
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