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Illinois Annual Air Quality Report

Illinois Annual Air Quality Report 2009

http://www.adobe.com/images/shared/download_buttons/get_adobe_reader.pngThe full report is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. You will need the free Acrobat Reader software, available from Adobe's web site, to view it.

A Message from the Director

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1970 following the observation of the first Earth Day. It was a time in history when there were few laws protecting the environment and pollution of the air, land and water was a serious problem. One of the chief focuses of the newly created Illinois EPA was pollution of the air. At that time, the Division of Air Pollution Control consisted of just 32 employees who were confronted with enormous sulfur dioxide and particulate matter pollution problems. Within the first five years, significant improvements were made.

While this Agency achieved many air quality undertakings in its first years of existence, much more has been done since that time. New programs have been implemented and air quality monitoring has expanded. Newer, more stringent air quality standards have been developed and many of those have been achieved. We now monitor for fine particulate matter, a pollutant that was not considered even fifteen years ago. In the coming year, we expect to see a new, more stringent ozone standard and a possible tightening of the fine particulate matter standard. While the health-based standards for these pollutants continue to tighten, we continue to move closer to achieving them.

Statewide air quality has seen substantial improvements over the 40 year existence of the Illinois EPA. We now look to the coming years of more information, newer technologies for fighting air pollution and the achievement of federal air quality standards in our largest metropolitan areas.

The Illinois EPA presents the 39th Annual Air Quality Report to summarize air quality data collected in calendar year 2009. This report includes monitoring data for a number of air pollutants and some heavy metals. Providing a healthy environment for every

Providing a healthy environment for every citizen in Illinois is a primary objective of this Agency. While annual data is summarized through this report, daily air quality data is provided through the Agency’s website at www.epa.state.il.us/air/air-quality-menu.html. The Agency provides this information to all individuals, especially those most susceptible to air pollution. For additional information on air pollution control programs or to provide comments or questions regarding the 2009 Annual Air Quality Report, please contact the Illinois EPA.


Douglas P. Scott
Director

Executive Summary

This report presents a summary of air quality data collected throughout the State of Illinois during the calendar year - 2009. 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, 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 2009 was either good or moderate 96 percent of the time throughout Illinois. There was one day (due to ozone) when air quality in some part of Illinois was considered Unhealthy (category Red). This compares with zero Unhealthy days in 2008. There were 13 days (10 for PM2.5 and 3 for 8-hour ozone) when air quality in some part of Illinois was considered Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (category Orange). This compares with 14 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups days reported in 2008. 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 2000 – 2009 are as follows: Particulate Matter (PM10) 26 percent decrease, Particulate Matter (PM2.5) 21 percent decrease, Sulfur Dioxide 40 percent decrease, Nitrogen Dioxide 21 percent decrease, Carbon Monoxide 40 percent decrease, Lead 36 percent decrease, and Ozone 13 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, 2009. Emission estimates are for the calendar year 2009 and are for the pollutants: particulate matter, volatile organic material, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. Emission trends of these pollutants have been given for the years 1998 to the present. Emissions reported with the Annual Emissions Report have been provided starting with 1998 and are currently available through 2008. In general there has been a trend toward decreasing emissions over this time period.

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