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Cook County Clean Diesel Program
Diesel emissions impact human health, the environment and contribute to global climate change. These emissions include particulate matter, also known as soot; nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog and acid rain; hydrocarbons and air toxics that damage plants animals, crops and water sources. High levels of diesel emissions can lead to serious health conditions such as asthma and allergies, and can worsen heart and lunch disease, especially for vulnerable populations.
Because of all of these impacts it is a cause for concern that Cook County has the highest levels of air pollution in Northern Illinois for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), Ammonia (NH3) and Nitrogen Oxide (NO), and ranks second in Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions only to Will County. In addition, Cook County has been designated as a non-attainment area for the EPA’s particulate matter guidelines for years. Cook County also ranks number one in vehicular traffic levels and the emissions that come with it, making it a prime candidate for the federal grant funds provided by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program to reduce emissions.
The County has used these funds to implement the Cook County Clean Diesel Program with a goal of reducing emissions of carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter from diesel engines. By installing U.S. EPA verified diesel retrofit technology on heavy duty trucks and equipment used by the Highway Department and the Forest Preserve District, the county is demonstrating a commitment to implementing sustainable practices throughout all types of County operations.
These retrofits have a number of benefits for both the County’s operations and for the County as a whole. The particulate matter emissions will decrease by a minimum of 85% for each vehicle, improving indoor and outdoor air quality for County workers, reducing respiratory issues and absenteeism. These retrofits will also contribute towards the steps being taken to bring Cook County into attainment with EPA regulations for particulate matter.
A Message from the President
I believe that Cook County should be a world-class model of sustainability. We are working not only to boost sustainability practices throughout County government, but also to join forces with local governments, nonprofits and business, to accomplish more than we could separately in making each of Cook County’s communities sustainable. To further this work, I appointed Deborah Stone as the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, and as Director of the Department of Environmental Control. I also recognize that Cook County needs to share ideas and collaborate with a diverse group of community leaders and sustainability experts. In March 2012, I appointed the Cook County Sustainability Advisory Council to help lift our vision higher and give us access to best practices. You can meet the Council members and read more about their mission in the “Advisory Council” section of this website. Toni Preckwinkle,Cook County Board President
What is Sustainability?
" Ensuring that there is enough for today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."Deborah StoneChief Sustainability Officer, Cook County Government
Contact UsCook County Chief Sustainability Officer
69 W Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
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