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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Estimating Mortality Impacts From Vehicle Emission Reduction Efforts: the Tune In and Tune Up Program in the San Joaquin Valley

  • Author(s): Connolly, Rachel Emma
  • Advisor(s): Zhu, Yifang
  • et al.

As a response to the poor air quality and associated environmental justice concerns in the San Joaquin Valley region in California, the Tune In & Tune Up (TI&TU) program provides residents with free vehicle emissions testing and vouchers for smog repair. We use data on approximately 17,000 repaired TI&TU vehicles from 2012-2017 to quantify the nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions prevented from the program and calculate resulting mortality impacts from reduced exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the form of secondary nitrates. After applying a novel smog repair emissions abatement depreciation function, we find that five and a half years of operation of the TI&TU program will have reduced NOX emissions by 149 tons through the end of 2018. Using a concentration response function for ambient PM2.5, we find that .24 premature deaths will have also been avoided. In future work, we will use these findings to evaluate the program’s relative cost-effectiveness as well as build on these results to assess morbidity and livelihood impacts.

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