On the basis of factors influencing O3 and secondary aerosol chemistry, there will be well-defined geographic patterns in the concentration effects of emission changes in O3 and secondary PM precursors, including regional patterns for PM2.5 based on ambient SO4, NO3, and NH3 concentrations and urban-rural patterns for O3 based on ambient concentrations of NOx and VOCs.
The emissions from regions most affected by NSR vary by pollutant. For SO2, the relevant regions are the Ohio River valley, the northeastern corridor, and the southern Appalachians. For NOx, the eastern United States is dominated by NSR sources and shows the same spatial pattern as for SO2. For VOCs, the pattern is determined primarily by the location of petrochemical industries, along the major waterways, California, the Gulf Coast, the eastern seaboard, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio River valley.
The regions with the highest SO2, NOx, and PM2.5 emissions are the same as those where the NSR-controlled sources dominate emissions of these pollutants and their precursors.
Given those factors and downwind population patterns, health benefits per unit of emission reduction can vary by more than an order of magnitude across sites even if concentration-response functions are assumed to be linear, and the variability could be even greater if thresholds or non-linearity would be present. Understanding geographic patterns of emission changes associated with NSR rule changes would therefore be critical in determining the net public-health effects.