Map: Cutting Air Pollution Saves Lives


The Environmental Protection Agency finalized new rules on Thursday that will limit emissions from power plants in the eastern half of the US, preventing up to 34,000 premature deaths each year due to air pollution by 2014.

The regulations, which were greeted by a good deal of fanfare from enviros and public health groups, will require power plants in 27 states and the District of Columbia to cut harmful pollution that travels across state lines. The EPA estimates that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will also prevent 858,000 other health problems, including non-fatal heart attacks, acute bronchitis, asthma attacks, and other upper and lower respiratory symptoms. In all, this would help prevent up to 1.8 million missed days at school or work due to health concerns every year, the agency found.

Environmental Defense Fund put together this map showing where the EPA expects this rule to save lives:

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.