Coal Pollution Impacts Explorer


When Sulfur Oxides (SOx) are emitted from power plant facilities, they do not fall directly to the ground. They are carried by air currents, sometimes great distances. Modeling of atmospheric transport and dispersion of these particles can estimate fine particulate matter (PM2.5) source impacts attributable to SOx emissions from each of the more than 1,200 coal-fired electricity generating units in operation in the United States between 1999-2018.

The Coal Pollution Impacts Explorer (C-PIE) is a web-based interface designed to visualize and scaffold atmospheric data and modeling for a public audience. Users can investigate the sources of pollution in their home county’s air, examine where pollution from a nearby facility disperses, and explore trends over time as facilities install pollution-mitigating scrubbers in response to legislative actions.

Research on the C-PIE platform investigates how data interactions can be scaffolded to support inquiry and engagement for public audiences.

The interactive C-PIE platform can be found at:

Below you will find representations of some of our iterative development work on the platform. To read more about the impacts of coal pollution, read our recent article in the Journal Science:

Henneman, L., Choirat, C., Dedoussi, I., Dominici, F., Roberts, J., & Zigler, C. (2023). Mortality risk from United States coal electricity generation. Science, 382(6673), 941-946.

Images & Videos

Research Team

  • Jessica Roberts
  • Lucas Henneman (George Mason University)
  • Sue Reon Kim, MS-HCI 2021
  • Srijan Jhanwar, MS-HCI 2022