The field of environmental equity investigates how environmental risk factors such as air pollution are associated with socioeconomic status (SES). This thesis examines current levels of inequity across income groups of the health risk caused by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution, in New York City (NYC) and surrounding areas, and identifies emission control measures that can improve equity in this region.
Results show that inequity persists in NYC, with low-income populations facing greater health risk than their higher-income counterparts. Adjoint sensitivity analysis was used to identify emission control measures that carry the greatest influence on the current levels of environmental inequity. It was found that emission reductions have positive impacts on public health, but the impact on environmental equity depends on the average income where the reduction occurs. By considering the impacts on public health and environmental equity together, major improvements can be yielded through one air quality management strategy.