Air quality attainment update from CMAP

[flickr]photo:2840512801[/flickr]

The Millennium Park Bike Station is one of thousands of projects funded in part by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grants. 

From the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning newsletter:

As we told you last week [here’s our article], our region faces harm to its air quality and a significant loss of federal transportation funding if the U.S. EPA follows through on its intention to ignore current, certified 2011 data and rule that northeastern Illinois is “in attainment” with the agency’s 2008 guidelines for air quality. Among the many Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) projects that would lose funding is Pace’s $38.4 million express bus service along the Jane Addams Tollway as part of its upcoming reconstruction, which is identified as a high priority of GO TO 2040. We urge you to contact U.S. EPA and members of Congress, calling on the federal regulators to consider the up-to-date 2011 data, which clearly indicate our region has actually not attained the 2008 air standards. The U.S. EPA comment period has begun with publication of a December 20 notice in the Federal Register (marked as “40 CFR Part 81”), which includes details of how to make your views known. We have also created a sample letter for commenters.

CMAP pointed out in the Policy Update that if 2011 data was included in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) analysis we would still be a non-attainment area for air quality and they previously pointed out that even if we are in attainment now, we will not be able to stay that way for long without federal funding for clean air projects. The EPA intends to make a final decision in spring 2012.

Here’s what you can do

  • Contact your members of Congress, including Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk
  • Contact the EPA and leave an official comment
    • Online: click the “submit comment” button
    • Email: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov, include “Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0476” in the subject and first line of the body
    • Fax: (202) 566-9744. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0476.
    • See mail and hand delivery instructions on the Regulations.gov website

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