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GLIN==> Toxic emmissions inventory released

Contact:  Kevin Yam, 734-971-9135, kyam@glc.org
Web: www.glc.org/air

Inventory provides updated look at Great Lakes toxic air emissions

Ann Arbor, Mich. – The latest iteration of the Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory, a key resource for environmental management in the binational region, has been released by the Great Lakes Commission.

The inventory organizes annual data collected by the eight Great Lakes states and province of Ontario into a standardized and accessible format. The largest multijurisdictional project of its kind in North America, it targets 213 separate chemical compounds, including all those classified as hazardous air pollutants by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“This inventory is a valuable tool for research and decisionmaking on air quality issues in the binational Great Lakes region,” said Dr. Michael J. Donahue, president/CEO of the Great Lakes Commission. “It provides a solid base of information to guide policy decisions and lawmaking, and assists our scientists in understanding the life cycles of these toxins and how they behave. We’re fortunate to have the participation of our Great Lakes states and the province of Ontario in compiling this information.”

The latest inventory is based on data collected in 2001, updating the previous 1999 inventory, the last year for which complete data was available. Data for more recent years is now being compiled.

Listing pollutants by type, quantity and source, the inventory categorizes emissions by more than 600 industrial classifications and more than 2,000 types of sources. Sources include point sources, such as industrial facilities; mobile sources, including on- and off-road; and area sources, such as airborne residue from pesticide applications or dispersed small sources such as residential wood stoves. 

Vehicle emissions are a major source of organic compounds, including toluene, benzene and xylene, which are among the most abundant pollutants by weight. Point sources are the dominant contributor of the 14 metal compounds covered by the inventory, as well as many nonmetals.  Area source emissions were the major source of 14 of the 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) inventoried, as well as 34 other nonmetal compounds.

The emissions data assist researchers in modeling the transport of the contaminants through the atmosphere, their deposition to the water and air surfaces of the region, and eventual outcomes, that include decay, burial, accumulation in fish and wildlife, and exposure to humans. Understanding these processes is important to forming regional, national and international emission reduction policies to protect the Great Lakes and their human, wildlife and aquatic inhabitants.

The inventory also helps identify inconsistencies in data collection and analysis across jurisdictions, and encourages the establishment of standard procedures and protocols. Funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).

The inventory is part of a suite of air quality projects the Commission is pursuing. Others include development of an online portal to provide researchers and the public with easier access to emissions data, and management of U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes Air Deposition Program (GLAD), which provides grants for innovative air quality research projects.

The Great Lakes Regional Toxic Air Emissions Inventory is available online at www.glc.org/air; print copies are available by contacting Kevin Yam, Great Lakes Commission, kyam@glc.org or by writing to:

Great Lakes Commission
Eisenhower Corporate Park
2805 S. Industrial Hwy., Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791

Contacts for individual state inventories and the Ontario inventory are:

David “Buzz” Asselmeier: Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, 217-782-5811
Jon Bates: Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management, 317-233-4226
Chun Yi Wu: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 651-282-5855
Gary Baker: Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality, 517-373-7058
Syed Alam: New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation, 518-402-8396
Tom Velalis: Ohio Dept. of Environmental Protection, 614-644-4837
Peter Wong: Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 416-235-6130
John Georgekapolis: Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 416-235-5776
Rob Altenburg: Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, 717-787-9495
Orlando Cabrera-Rivera: Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, 608-267-2466


The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Samuel W. Speck (Ohio), 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 LakesSt. 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.