Chesterton Tribune



IDEM says NWI air quality better than estimated

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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 cities.

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 release.

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 agency said.

The report discussing the results of this assessment is available on IDEMís website at the Lakeshore Air Toxics Study page:


Posted 8/2/2013