New Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory released
Ann Arbor, Mich. -- An updated toxic air emissions inventory -– a key environmental management tool -has been released by the Great Lakes Commission.
The newest Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory is part of an effort to measure the toxic air emissions that affect the air and water quality and the communities of the Great Lakes basin. Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it lists emissions by type, quantity and source.
"This inventory is the single best compilation of emissions data for the Great Lakes basin," said Nathaniel Robinson, chairman of the Great Lakes Commission, which manages the project. "It lays the groundwork for air emissions research and will help guide policymaking efforts as well."
The updated inventory identifies 82 individual toxic air pollutants, emitted from 672 types of sources and generated by 1,532 different processes. Based on 1998 data collected by the eight Great Lakes states and the province of Ontario, it is the latest step in the Commission’s Regional Air Pollution Inventory Development System (RAPIDS) project, begun in 1989.
Sources fall into three broad categories:
Point sources are a single, identifiable location such as a smokestack
Area sources are generally too small and numerous to be individually assessed; they include gas stations, dry cleaners and consumer products
Mobile sources are from moving vehicles such as automobiles, boats and aircraft
The inventory project strengthens environmental decisionmaking capabilities in the basin by promoting consistency in data collection and analysis across jurisdictions, and the establishment of standard procedures and protocols. It includes development of an automated emission estimation and inventory system and demonstrates the value of the Internet as a means of exchanging environmental data.
One of the main challenges in compiling the inventory was maintaining consistency from one jurisdiction to the next, given differences in data breadth, quality and availability. As a result, the inventory should not be used to compare emissions from one state or province to another but rather to demonstrate the potential of a comprehensive inventory as a decision support tool.
The project team is now compiling an inventory of 1999 data, which will include an enhanced mercury inventory. It also designing a searchable online database, known as a datamart, which is due for release next year.
For an online copy of the Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory, see www.glc.org/air/air3.html
The following are the members of the Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory Steering Committee:
* Orlando Cabrera-Rivera: Wisc. DNR, 608-267-2466
David “Buzz” Asselmeier: Ill.EPA, 217-524-1128
Jon Bates: Ind. DEM, 317-233-4226
Gary Baker: Mich. DEQ, 517-373-7058
Chun Yi Wu: Minn. PCA, 651-282-5855
Rob Sliwinski: N.Y. DEC, 518-457-2823
Bob Bielawa: N.Y. DEC, 518-457-2823
Syed Alam: N.Y. DEC, 518-457-2823
Tom Velalis: Ohio EPA, 614-644-2270
Rob Altenburg: Penn. DEP, 717-787-4310
Peter Wong: Ont. ME - Air Resources Branch, 416-235-5818
Dr. Suzanne King: U.S. EPA Region 5, 312-886-6054
Julie Wagemakers: Great Lakes Commission, 734-665-9135
* Steering Committee Chair
Contact: Julie Wagemakers
The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Nathaniel E. Robinson (Wisconsin),
is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency created by state and U.S. federal
law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and
high quality of life for the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence region and its
residents. The Commission consists of state legislators, agency officials,
and governors’ appointees from its eight member states. Associate membership
for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a
"Declaration of Partnership." The Commission maintains a formal Observer
program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities,
binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices
are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.