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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Provides Over $253,000 to Cook County, Illinois, to Monitor Air Pollution

08/14/2018
Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (singer.joshua@epa.gov)
312-353-5069

CHICAGO – (Aug. 14, 2018) As part of its work with states to improve air quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided the Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability with $253,210, to maintain and operate an air monitoring network.

“We can achieve our best environmental results working with our partners and supporting their continuing efforts to improve air quality,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “This funding will help meet national air quality standards and protect the health of the citizens of Cook County.”

Cook County will continue monitoring activities to support the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution control program. In addition, the county will continue to maintain and operate an air monitoring network, address air toxics, and administer the state's air quality monitoring program.

Background

EPA’s most recent air trends report highlights that, between 1970 and 2017, the combined emissions of six key pollutants dropped by 73 percent nationwide, while the U.S. economy grew more than three times. A closer look at more recent progress shows that between 1990 and 2017, average concentrations of harmful air pollutants decreased significantly across our nation:

  • Sulfur dioxide (1-hour) ↓ 88 percent
  • Lead (3-month average) ↓80 percent
  • Carbon monoxide (8-hour) ↓ 77 percent
  • Nitrogen dioxide (annual) ↓ 56 percent
  • Fine Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 40 percent
  • Coarse Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 34 percent and
  • Ground-level ozone (8-hour) ↓ 22 percent

The report includes interactive graphics that enable citizens, policymakers, and stakeholders to view and download detailed information by pollutant, geographic location, and year. Explore the report and download graphics and data here: U.S. Air Trends Report.

The Clean Air Act was established to lower levels of six common pollutants -- particles, ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide -- and toxic pollutants. Data of actual conditions is key to state and local clean air programs and areas reaching attainment.

The progress of the Clean Air Act reflects efforts by state, local governments, business, non-profit and non-government organizations, and EPA. EPA continues to work with states, local governments, tribes, and citizens – to further improve air quality for all Americans.

Learn more about Cook County’s air quality programs: https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/air-quality

More information on EPA’s air quality programs: https://www3.epa.gov/airquality/