Results of a study of Northwest Indiana air quality may be good news for
Region residents. The study by the Indiana Department of Environmental
Management (IDEM) indicates that levels of air toxics along the Indiana Lake
Michigan shore are comparable to those measured in other United States
IDEM announced Thursday that the agency has completed an assessment of air
toxics in the highly industrialized and heavily traveled area of Lake and
Porter counties. The agency said the goal was to perform a detailed
evaluation using methods specifically developed for evaluating air quality
on a community-level scale.
After evaluating ambient air monitoring data, and conducting a detailed
modeling study, IDEM looked at both industrial and mobile sources (cars and
trucks) of pollution to assess potential health risks.
Pollutants that are commonly found in cities, referred to as urban air
toxics, were at elevated but not alarming levels, IDEM said in a press
Many of the elevated pollutants are commonly associated with motor vehicle
emissions, which include heavy duty diesel trucks. Pollutants of concern
identified are formaldehyde, benzene, acrolein, and chromium compounds.
The results of the study indicate that air toxics concentrations and risk
within the lakeshore area are not as high as reported by previous national
scale screening analyses.
While there is some increased risk associated with emissions from some
industrial permitted sources, IDEM says it is working with those sources to
identify pollution prevention opportunities. The results also support the
efforts being made to reduce emissions from mobile sources nationwide, the
The report discussing the results of this assessment is available on IDEMís
website at the Lakeshore Air Toxics Study page: