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EPA Home > Region 5 > Air > Correspondence


April 1, 1997

Bharat Mathur, Chief
Bureau of Air
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
2200 Churchill Road
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
Dear Mr. Mathur:

This letter is in response to your submittal of the proposed air quality monitoring network for the
State of Illinois for 1997 on November 21, 1996. Thank you for the chance to provide
feed-back on your air quality monitoring operations.

I am pleased to inform you that the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is
approving your 1997 air quality monitoring plan. We are impressed with the diligent progress
Illinois has made in implementing the air quality monitoring programs.

We note that all four Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations (PAMS) will be
operational in 1997 as was called for in the alternative PAMS sampling proposal submitted by
the Lake Michigan Ozone Study States. Indeed, the cooperation among the States involved in
the Lake Michigan Ozone Study in putting together and maintaining a coordinated monitoring
effort is very encouraging.

The USEPA is also pleased to note the aggressive program Illinois has embarked on to
implement sampling for PM2.5 in support of the potential National Ambient Air Quality
Standard. The data from the one year of sampling at the four sites set up as a permit condition
near the Robbins incinerator are proving valuable. We are also glad to see plans to establish
three additional sites in the Chicago area and one in the Metro East area near St. Louis. The
data from these sites should go a long way towards helping Illinois devise and implement a
plan to meet the monitoring requirements of the proposed particulate monitoring rulemaking.
The concerns expressed about the prototype PM2.5 monitors have been noted. As requested,
your willingness to participate in performance tests of these monitoring instruments has been
relayed to the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.

We are also encouraged by the approach Illinois is taking to address monitoring for residual
pollution concerns around specific point sources. The approach of adding monitoring
requirements as part of permit conditions is a good one. It is understood that the monitoring
requirements are for the source to either arrange for the operation of the monitors themselves
or to pay a fee to fund the State to operate the monitors. In either case, the State should make
certain that the data are to be made publicly available in the Aerometric Information Retrieval
System and the State should maintain quality assurance oversight over the monitors.

Overall, the USEPA finds the monitoring program in Illinois to be of very high quality. We are
aware that this program is facing some real challenges in the coming years in terms of
implementing monitoring networks to collect data for the possible new fine particulate
standard, continued operation and expansion of the PAMS monitoring networks, and possible
expansion of ozone networks into rural areas subject to transport. Therefore, we look forward
to a year of continued close interaction with Illinois as tough decisions are made.

Thank you for the chance to review the 1997 monitoring network for the State of Illinois. If you
have questions or comments on our review, please contact William Damico at (312) 353-8207
or by e-mail at

Sincerely yours,


David Kee, Director
Air and Radiation Division

Terry Sweitzer, Manager
Air Monitoring Section
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Robert LaMorte
Cook County Department of Environmental Control

David Lutz, NAMS Coordinator
Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards

For further information, contact:
This Information Last Modified On: 09/18/2008 03:58 PM