Transit and road improvement projects that increase efficiency and reduce emissions are at risk. Photo of Red Line and Dan Ryan traffic, looking north to the Chicago Loop.
Chicago is currently a non-attainment area.
That means we don’t meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) “for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment” (read more), standards which are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Six pollutants are measured across the country (note 1). We currently don’t attain standards for particle pollution, specifically Particulate Matter 2.5; they’re particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers and “referred to as ‘fine’ particles and are believed to pose the greatest health risks”. Additionally, we’re a maintenance area for the 8-hour ozone standard. It is this designation that puts a large portion of the region’s transportation funding risk. Continue reading What is attainment? How Chicagoland may lose $90 million in federal funding annually