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What's New | Overview | General Resources | Databases | Publications | Related Resources

 
What's New
State, tribe and environmental groups fight over mercury in St. Louis River in Minnesota
Star Tribune (9/17)
Critics say Minnesota is choosing industry over kids’ health by not going after sulfate discharged into the St. Louis River and North Shore of Lake Superior.

Michigan lawmakers ask Canada to scrap plans for nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron
The Voice (5/27)
Calling a nuclear waste dump proposed for Kincardine, Ontario, less than a mile from Lake Huron, “not safe” and “not acceptable,” a contingent of state legislators asked last week for President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to intervene and stop the so-called Deep Geologic Repository.

State DEQ plans to deny permit for new petcoke pile
Crain's Detroit Business (5/21)
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality plans to reject a company's request to store piles of petroleum coke at an open riverfront site in River Rouge.

Pet coke is moved from Detroit River, but more stuff may pile up
Detroit Free Press (2/11)
Detroit Bulk Storage has abandoned any ideas of storing petroleum coke or coal along the Detroit River, but company officials now want to store other products, such as limestone and salt.

Company appeals pet coke storage ban on Detroit River
CBC News (2/3)
Detroit's buildings safety engineering and environmental department (BSEED) denied Detroit Bulk Storage's request to store pet coke in an existing storage yard and waive the maximum height requirement for storage, but the company will appeal that decision.

Quinn seeks statewide petcoke restrictions
Chicago Tribune (1/14)
Gov. Pat Quinn moved to require companies that store petroleum coke in Illinois to fully enclose the refinery byproduct and take more aggressive measures to tamp down lung-damaging dust.

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Overview
Atmospheric Deposition of Toxic Contaminants
As water moves through the hydrological cycle, it falls as rain or snow and then evaporates to the atmosphere from the land and surface water. Other substances, including toxic pollutants, follow this same path. They evaporate to the atmosphere, where wind currents can carry these substances for long distances before depositing them.
 
Atmospheric deposition is a significant source of certain toxic pollutants entering the Great Lakes. In fact, as much as 90 percent of some toxic loadings to the Great Lakes are believed to be the result of airborne deposition. Because the transport an d deposition of airborne toxics is not localized, this phenomenon needs to be evaluated and regulated on a regional or even international scale. Various efforts to understand and curtail atmospheric deposition are underway. These efforts include emissions inventories, modeling and mass balance studies that inform new laws and policies. Such efforts will help us to understand and combat atmospheric deposition of pollution on the Great Lakes.

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General Resources
Air Toxics Links
State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators; Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials
These national associations represent air pollution control agencies in the 54 states and territories and over 150 major metropolitan areas across the United States. This page links to a range of resources on air toxics.

Clean Air for Life
Environmental Defense
Relief from air pollution is within reach with the right tools. Learn about health effects, pollution solutions and more.

Great Waters Program
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Because of mounting evidence that air pollution significantly affects water quality, Congress included section 112(m) in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, known as the "Great Waters" program. The Great Waters program directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prevent harm from atmospheric deposition.

How good is the air in your community?
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 5
Includes real-time air pollution data, maps of ozone designation areas and places with ozone action days; how proposed new air quality standards may affect your county, and more.

Top Stories
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 5
Each week U.S. EPA Region 5 Air and Radiation Division posts "Top Stories" in Air Pollution Control in the Great lakes Region.

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Databases
1999 Inventory of Toxic Air Emissions
Great Lakes Commission
The 1999 inventory, the fourth regional inventory, is an ongoing initiative of the air regulatory agencies in the eight Great Lakes states and province of Ontario.

Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory
Great Lakes Commission
The Great Lakes states are creating this regional database, which will establish a baseline using 1993 data on point and area source emissions of 49 toxic air pollutants identified as significant contributors to the contamination of the Great Lakes.

National Pollutant Release Inventory
Environment Canada
The National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) provides information on the on-site releases to air, water and land, as well as transfers off-site in wastes, of 178 substances.

Southwest Lake Michigan Pilot Study
Great Lakes Commission
Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, working together through the Great Lakes Commission, have completed the first multistate inventory of emissions of toxic air contaminants that are identified as being potentially harmful to the Great Lakes ecosystem or human health.

Toxic Release Inventory
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The TRI is a database that contains specific toxic chemical releases, transfers, waste management and pollution prevention activities from manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.

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Publications
Atmospheric Deposition of Toxics to the Great Lakes (PDF)
The Delta Institute
Provides a macro perspective regarding the most recent research on deposition of air toxics and offers policy recommendations to address the problem.

Controlling Toxic Air Pollution in Michigan (PDF)
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Air Toxics Unit
This brochure answers some of the most commonly asked questions about "toxic" air pollution and describes what MDEQ is doing to improve and maintain our air quality.

Deposition of Air Pollutants to the Great Waters, June 2000
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Waters Program
Provides updated scientific information on the effects of air pollutants on the Great Waters (Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, and Chesapeake Bay, and certain other coastal waters).

Illinois Atmosphere
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
The atmosphere above Illinois is not only the source of the air we breathe and the water that sustains us but is also a vast chemical laboratory in which polluting "acid rain" and ozone are manufactured and protective ozone in upper layers is chemically dismantled. From The Changing Illinois Environment: Critical Trends, 1994.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Agencies and Organizations, Air Quality
GLIN: Air Quality in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Atmospheric Deposition in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Ozone Issues in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Toxic Contamination in the Great Lakes Region

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Updated: October 25, 2014
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