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Illinois Annual Air Quality Report

Illinois Annual Air Quality Report 2003

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A Message from the Director


In 2003, Illinois continued a renewed commitment to improve air quality throughout the State as officials worked to meet all federal air quality standards. This commitment requires the efforts of all Illinoisans -- businesses, state and local officials and individual citizens. Through our efforts, the State will meet air quality standards and residents will continue to enjoy the improved environment Illinois has achieved in the last twenty years.

The 33rd Annual Air Quality Report contains information gathered in 2003 from the Illinois EPA’s statewide air-monitoring network, which is made up of more than 200 monitors measuring air pollutants and other toxic compounds. The data contained in the report indicated that Illinois’ outdoor air quality in 2003 remained good or moderate 94 percent of the time, a five percent increase from 2002.

The year 2003 was a successful year in which none of the air quality monitors in Illinois recorded exceedances of the federal one-hour standard for ozone. Additionally, the St. Louis Metro East region was redesignated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) as meeting the federal one- hour standard for ozone.

On behalf of Governor Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois EPA continues its commitment to improving air quality, serving as a regulator of air pollution sources and a proponent for innovative, proactive programs. Those programs include Partners for Clean Air and Green Pays on Green Days, encouraging residents to do their part to reduce air pollution, and the Illinois Clean School Bus Program, designed to provide a cleaner, healthier environment for Illinois school children. These programs have a real impact on reducing air pollution, and the Illinois EPA looks forward to developing and implementing additional programs to benefit all Illinois residents from the largest cities to the smallest towns. Everyone is entitled to clean air, and it is the mission of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to make that a reality.

This document, the 2003 Annual Air Quality report, was designed to provide a comprehensive, unbiased description of air quality in the State of Illinois. The information is presented to businesses, organizations and individual citizens. We are proud of the environmental achievements Illinois has made in the past decade and we further commit ourselves to work closely with businesses and residents to build on our past successes in air quality. Our work, together, must continue to further improve air quality for Illinois residents. Please contact the Illinois EPA with comments and/or questions regarding this report or air pollution control programs.


Renee Cipriano

Director

Executive Summary

This report presents a summary of air quality data collected throughout the State of Illinois during the calendar year - 2003. Data is presented for the six criteria pollutants (those for which air quality standards have been developed - particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead) along with some heavy metals, nitrates, sulfates, and volatile organic and toxic compounds. Monitoring was conducted at over 80 different site locations collecting data from more than 200 instruments.

In terms of the Air Quality Index (AQI) air quality during 2003 was either good or moderate more than 94 percent of the time throughout Illinois. There were no days when air quality in some part of Illinois was considered Unhealthy (category Red). There were 19 days (11 for 8-hour ozone and 8 for PM2.5 ) when air quality in some part of Illinois was considered Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (category Orange). This compares with 38 Unhealthy or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups days in 2002. Air quality trends for the criteria pollutants are continuing to show downward trends or stable trends well below the level of the standards. Percentage changes over the ten year period 1994 – 2003 are as follows: Particulate Matter (PM10) 7 percent decrease, Sulfur Dioxide 37 percent decrease, Nitrogen Dioxide 10 percent decrease, Carbon Monoxide 52 percent decrease, Lead 36 percent decrease, and Ozone 2 percent decrease.Stationary point source emission data has again been included. The data in the report reflects information contained in the Emission Inventory System (EIS) as of December 31, 2003. Emission estimates are for the calendar year 2002 and are for the pollutants: particulate matter, volatile organic material, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. Emission trends of these pollutants has been given for the years 1981 to the present. Emissions reported with the Annual Emissions Report have been provided starting with 1992. In general there has been a trend toward decreasing emissions over this time period.

 

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