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Co-benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) screening model 

The Co-benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) screening model inexpensively and quickly estimates the air quality, human health, and associated economic impacts of various state-and county-level emission reduction scenarios.

This tool serves as a preliminary screening tool to identify those scenarios that might benefit from further evaluation with more sophisticated air quality modeling approaches.

State and local governments can use COBRA to:

  • Better understand the potential for clean energy to enhance air quality, health, and social well being.
  • Design or select program options that maximize benefits.
  • Build support for clean energy investments based on the air and health benefits.
  • Narrow a list of policy options to those that should be evaluated using more sophisticated air quality models.
  • Present information about localized health benefits in easy–to–interpret tables and maps.
  • Support a balanced decision-making process that considers both the potential costs and benefits of policy options.

Key questions addressed:

  • What are the health and associated economic benefits of clean energy policies or programs that reduce air pollution?

Sample data inputs:

  • Change in emissions of particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (S02), nitrogen oxides (NOX), ammonia (NH3), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by source category.

Sample quantitative outputs:

  • Absolute emission reductions
  • Number of health incidences avoided
  • Economic value of health incidences avoided.

Access the COBRA tool.


User’s manual for the Co-Benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) screening model.

Presentation: Estimating the co-benefits of clean energy policies: How COBRA works, by EPA

Presentation: Estimating the co-benefits of clean energy policies: Why use COBRA, by EPA

Presentation: Quick start tutorial: how to use COBRA, by EPA

You can also see examples of case studies on the COBRA website.

Tool Summary

  • Free
Expertise Required:
  • Simple
Geographic Scope:
  • Local
  • National
  • Policy
Impacts Assessed:
  • Economic
    • General
  • Environmental
    • Air
  • Social
    • Public Health