Environmental Policy

Estimating the Health Benefits from Natural Gas Use in Transport and Heating in Santiago, Chile

Mena-Carrasco, M.; Oliva, E.; Saide, P.; Spak, S.N.; Maza, C.; Osses, M.; Tolvett, S.; Campbell, E.J.; Tsao es Chi-Chung, T.; Molina, L.T.


Chilean law requires the assessment of air pollution control strategies for their costs and benefits. Here we employ an online weather and chemical transport model, WRF-Chem, and a gridded population density map, LANDSCAN, to estimate changes in fine particle pollution exposure, health benefits, and economic valuation for two emission reduction strategies based on increasing the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in Santiago, Chile.

Both policies are shown to be cost-effective ways of reducing air pollution, as they target high-emitting area pollution sources and reduce concentrations over densely populated urban areas as well as less dense areas outside the city limits. Unlike the concentration rollback methods commonly used in public policy analyses, which assume homogeneous reductions across a whole city, this approach accounts for both seasonality and diurnal emission profiles for both the transportation and residential heating sectors.