Innovations sought to address toxic air pollution

Great Lakes Commission to award $1.235 million in air quality grants

Ann Arbor, Mich. — The Great Lakes Commission has assumed management of the Great Lakes Air Deposition (GLAD) program, a major initiative that provides funding opportunities for air quality research, and a forum for information exchange among scientists, managers and policymakers.

Thanks to support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Commission will award up to $1.235 million over the next year for innovative research projects that support efforts to reduce toxic air deposition through improved understanding of processes by which persistent bioaccumulative toxics (PBTs) are deposited into the waters of the Great Lakes basin.

“Great Lakes restoration and protection efforts demand a multimedia approach that recognizes water, land and air as pollutant pathways,” said Dr. Michael J. Donahue, Commission president/CEO. “Airborne contaminants are particularly insidious, as they can bioaccumulate in the ecosystem with long-term implications for human health and wildlife.”

Airborne PBTs may originate within the Great Lakes basin or be transported over great distances before they are deposited and accumulate in the lakes and other water bodies. Enhanced understanding of their origins, transport, deposition and impact are critical to ensuring informed regulatory and other public policy decisions.

The Great Lakes Commission, in partnership with its eight member states, Ontario and U.S. EPA, maintains a regional inventory of toxic air emissions, and now tracks some 213 contaminants from point, area and mobile sources in basin jurisdictions. The effort is led by a federal/state task force chaired by Orlando Cabrera-Rivera, an air management specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The Great Lakes Air Deposition program will complement this ongoing work and, by providing a forum for scientists, managers and policymakers, will ensure that sound data and information is available as research, management and policy decisions are made.

Technical data and information will also be provided in a format useful for mayors, other municipal officials and all public/private sector entities with an interest in both the origins and impacts of toxic air emissions. A web site for this purpose has been established and can be accessed at glc.org/projects/water-quality/glad/

Priorities for funding in FY 2004 include air deposition monitoring; emissions inventory development; source characterization and emissions factor development; atmospheric and multimedia modeling; and assess-ment of effects on wildlife and human health. The Request for Proposals will be posted Monday, Oct. 20, with a closing date of December 17, 2003.

For immediate release: October 16, 2003
Contact: Kevin Yam, kyam@glc.org, office: 734-971-9135

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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 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 programinvolving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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