Air pollution accountability in the southeastern United States

As part of my PhD research, I investigated changes in air quality and source-specific emissions across the Southeast. I employed several data sources—such as observed and modeled air quality and emissions—and analytical tools—including both statistical and deterministic modeling. For instance, I showed how emissions at power plants in the Southeast decreased differently with different regulations: These emissions changes (almost 90% at power plants since the mid-1990s) combined with other major emissions changes (from cars, for instance) led to big changes in the air quality in the Southeast. Concentrations of most of the air pollutants we studies decreased over time, with the primary exception of ozone—its unique chemistry meant reduced emissions led to increasing wintertime concentrations.

Along with coworkers at Georgia Tech and Emory, I contributed to a Health Effects Institute report that concluded air quality regulations have been responsible for tens of thousands of avoided respiratory and cardiovascular-related emergency department visits since the year 2000 in Atlanta, GA.

Lucas RF Henneman
Postdoctoral Fellow

Linking regulations to emissions, air quality, and health