The Impact of Maritime Emissions Standards on Air Quality and Infant Health

Tuesday, June 25, 2019: 4:00 PM
Jackson - Mezzanine Level (Marriott Wardman Park Hotel)

Presenter: Jamie Hansen-Lewis

Co-Author: Michelle Marcus

Discussant: Dr. Emilia Simeonova

The bulk of ship traffic occurs near coastlines and pollution from ship exhaust is a major component of poor air quality on populated US coasts. We study the effect of maritime fuel emissions standards on air quality and infant health with detailed data of shipping traffic, measures of air quality, and administrative data on births. We employ the predictions of an atmospheric aerosol transport model to form a rigorous scientific prior on the portion of air pollution from ships at a given location accounting for the atmospheric dispersion, disposition, and chemical interactions of pollution once emitted. We use the scientifically predicted change in fine particulate matter arising from ship fuel regulation as an instrument for air quality during gestation. We find that the introduction of maritime emissions control areas around US coasts improved air quality for counties with the most exposure to maritime pollution. Consistent with the air quality improvement, we find a small improvement in birth outcomes for children of mothers with high exposure to maritime air pollution.