Communities along the shore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and Michigan have been recording unusually high levels of ozone for years. On some days, these levels even put them in violation of federal air quality standards.
The source of the pollution is presumed to be upwind urban centers, primarily Chicago, but little is known about how the ozone is transported to shoreline areas.
A new study by a consortium of environmental agencies will begin to answer some of the questions surrounding ozone levels around Lake Michigan.
The Lake Michigan Ozone Study is funded through a partnership of agencies including NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation. It has now completed collection of air samples in the study areas and will soon begin analyzing the data.
"We want to long term use the measurements to evaluate air quality and meteorological models that the state regulatory agencies use in developing mitigation plans to try to improve air quality," said Rob Kaleel, Executive Director of the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO).