E&S teamed with many of the leading scientists, plus an economist, in the field of air pollution and its effects in North America to write a science/policy journal article on air pollution mitigation success stories in the United States. The 2018 publication in Environmental Science and Policy summarizes past examples of the use of science to document the effectiveness of public policy and air quality management amidst attempts to negate the relevance and value of scientific data and facts in favor of partisan opinion and ideology. Recent improvements in air pollution highlighted in this publication include decreased environmental lead contamination due to the elimination of tetraethyl lead from gasoline, decreases in tropospheric ozone, improved visibility from reduced airborne particulate matter, declines in atmospheric sulfur and nitrogen deposition that acidify the environment and declines in atmospheric mercury and subsequent bioaccumulation of toxic methyl mercury. The monetary value of the benefits of pollution emissions controls have vastly outweighed the costs. Pollutant reductions have provided environmental, social, and economic beneﬁts, highlighting the urgency to apply these lessons to address current critical environmental issues such as emissions of greenhouse gases. These examples underscore the important role of data from long-term research and monitoring as part of fact-based decision-making in environmental policy.
Project completion was March 2018.