CMC Prof. Mary Evans and co-authors find EPA proposal omits billions of dollars in public-health benefits

A new report co-authored by Claremont McKenna College Prof. Mary Evans concludes that the EPA’s support for proposed changes to the Federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) relies on flawed benefit-cost analysis and outdated estimates.

In the report, Evans and five other economists find fault with the EPA’s removal of billions of dollars in co-benefits that result from reduced emissions of fine particulate air pollution under MATS.

“The removal of co-benefits is inconsistent with best practices and the federal government’s own guidance on conducting benefit-cost analysis,” said Evans.

The report also criticizes the EPA’s failure to update its cost-benefit analysis using the most recent scientific evidence and information; EPA used estimates from an analysis conducted in 2011.

Evans and the other authors are members of the External Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (E-EEAC), an independent organization providing the best available economic advice to the EPA. Evans is founding co-chair of the organization’s Executive Committee. The E-EEAC, which has received funding from the Sloan Foundation, was established after the EPA dissolved its own Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (EEAC) in 2018.

Numerous media outlets covered the report's findings including The New York Times, Roll Call, The Hill, U.S. News and World Report and Reuters.

Gilien Silsby