Estimating Health Benefits, Cost-Effectiveness and Distributional Equity from California’s Vehicle Emission Reduction Initiatives: Lessons from the San Joaquin Valley’s Tune-In & Tune-Up Program

Research Team: Gregory Pierce (lead) and Yifang Zhu

UC Campus(es): UCLA

Problem Statement: In 2005, the Tune-In & TuneUp (TI&TU) program, managed by Valley Clean Air Now (Valley CAN), began to provide San Joaquin Valley (SJV) residents with free emission testing and vouchers for smog repair as needed at a series of publicly-held events rotating across the SJV. From 2012 on, participation has increased and the program has distributed over $12 million in redeemed smog repair vouchers. The objective of the proposed interdisciplinary research is to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the program.

Project Description: The research team is currently completing a comprehensive study of program participation and a multivariate analysis of the factors influencing the incidence of repair. This project builds on this first-stage study to quantify the improved air quality and health benefits resulting from repaired TI&TU vehicles, using the most rigorous econometric and environmental health research methods available. Our study will use data on approximately 18,000 repaired vehicles to provide insight into the health and equity benefits and shortcomings of the program. This study will use existing data on nitrogen oxides (NOX) annual emission reductions for each TI&TU vehicle to calculate the associated health benefits, using recently published methods from Dr. Yifang Zhu’s group.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $139,286

Project Partner(s): Valley Clean Air Now, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District