September 17, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Environmental Law & Policy Center, Shedd Aquarium Team Up to Gather Diesel Emissions Data at Shedd’s High-Traffic Site
Effort is part of ELPC city-wide diesel air monitor program
CHICAGO – The Environmental Law & Policy Center and Shedd Aquarium partnered in August and September to collect diesel emissions data with a specialized air monitor as part of a city-wide program to identify pollution hotspots and potential solutions.
ELPC is monitoring for dangerous tiny diesel particulates that lodge deep in human lungs and contributes to asthma, heart disease and cancer. Buses, trucks, trains and construction equipment emit diesel pollution. These emissions are harmful to individuals who work, live or play nearby. Chicago has twice the national average of hospitalizations due to asthma.
The air monitor was set up at Shedd in their bus turnaround, a location where guests are regularly dropped off and picked up via bus or car.
“The Environmental Law & Policy Center teamed up with Shedd Aquarium because of its commitment to improving the environment and educating the public,” says Susan Mudd, Senior Policy Advocate at ELPC. “We hope our joint efforts with Shedd draw attention to the health hazards of diesel emissions in Chicago.”
“Sustainability extends into every part of the aquarium,” says Reid Bogert, Coordinator, Great Lakes and Sustainability at Shedd. “From water-conserving exhibits to the “green” gardens that housed the air monitor, sustainability is in everything we do. Protecting the Great Lakes and the air we all breathe is incredibly important to our commitment to protecting the environment.”
Shedd Aquarium is one of a number of sites hosting the monitor for two weeks this summer and fall to assess local diesel pollutant levels. ELPC and the Respiratory Health Association have been partnering with community groups and citizen scientists in neighborhoods throughout Chicago, including Edgewater/Uptown, SouthEast/Calumet, and Pilsen. ELPC is seeking additional community partners to host the monitor this fall.
The equipment has filters that capture the small diesel particulates in the air. Those filters are collected daily and will be analyzed by a lab when all samples are gathered.