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Hazy results from air quality study

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Evanston city staff, in releasing a long-awaited report on air quality monitoring around the Church Street waste transfer station, say it “fell short of making definitive statements about the overall air quality within the study area.”

The report, from consultants RPH Risk Management, was funded with $229,300 in payments the city received in a settlement with the transfer station operator of a dispute over a per ton disposal fee imposed by the city.

The report provides a list of 13 potential pollutants and in a ranked list for potential further investigation, but doesn’t provide indications of how the levels of those pollutants near the transfer station compare with levels across the city or the Chicago metro region as a whole.

The city staff memo, from Kumar Jenson, chief sustainability and resilience officer, and Ashley Mcilwee, senior enviornmental health practitioner, suggests that any future air quality project work should be “done in partnership or with guidance from county, state or federal agencies with technical knowledge and expertise in air quality monitoring.”

It adds, “More input from governmental officials responsible for regulating air quality would have improved the results from this study and would improve the outcomes from any future work.”

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