The Air Quality Program for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has been operating since September of 2005 with the hiring of staff and since April 2006 with monitoring. It has been built around three areas of focus: Monitoring, Policy, and Services.

Monitoring

LRBOI's Air Monitoring Station (AMS) is located at the tribe's Justice Center.

Here is a brief description of each:

O3

Ozone is a chemical similar to molecular oxygen, but it has three oxygen atoms instead of two. It is probably most famous for the Ozone Layer and the Ozone Hole over Antarctica. The ozone in the Ozone Layer is the same chemical that we are monitoring for at the ground level. Often people wonder why ozone up above is good, but ozone down here is bad. Simply put, ozone like many chemicals has good and bad properties. One of its good properties is that it blocks ultra-violet rays coming from the sun. Some of its bad properties are that it irritates our lungs and damages plant leafs. So, as you can see depending on where ozone is it can be helpful or detrimental to humans and the environment.

Ground level ozone is monitored in Michigan from April through September every year. This is because ground level ozone is not emitted as pollution, but rather created from the combination of pollutants in the air and hot weather "cooking" the pollutants to form ozone. Thus, ozone is only monitored for during the hottest months of the year.

The shoreline counties throughout West Michigan are heavily impacted from ozone due to pollution originating from the Chicago-Gary-Milwaukee corridor region of Lake Michigan. Studies have shown this time and time again to be true. LRBOI is working in conjunction with the State of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to monitor this situation. LRBOI's monitoring data can be viewed real time on MDEQ's web site along with all the other monitoring stations around the state.

The State of Michigan also forecasts Ozone Action days to warn citizens of impending conditions that may lead to the heavy formation of ozone. MDEQ's EnviroFlash program sends out notices to warn citizens a day or two in advance of hazardous air events.

PM2.5

PM2.5 is basically dust that is 2.5 microns in diameter and smaller. However, it is not formed by the wearing away of rocks or other matter but rather by the chemical reactions inside engines and furnaces. PM2.5 is dangerous to human health because the particles are so small that they are readily absorbed into the bloodstream. This increases blood volume and thus blood pressure in the person breathing the pollutant. Furthermore, PM2.5 usually has more carcinogenic and haphazard chemicals in it than larger sizes of particulate matter. Also, the very small nature of it causes it to act more like a gas than like dust so it travels much further from its sources than larger particles of particulate matter.

All size ranges of particulate matter are monitored throughout the year. A sampler collects dust on a filter for twenty-four hours once every three days or once every six days. All the samplers in the entire country run on the same days to ensure a snapshot can be taken of what is going on throughout the United States. Obviously, the sites that sample once every six days only run every other run day that the sites that sample once in every three days run on.

Met

Met or meteorological conditions are monitored throughout the year as well. The met conditions monitored for are: temperature, wind speed, wind direction, barometric pressure and solar radiation. The monitoring of these conditions allows LRBOI staff to determine trends on weather's affect and air pollution at the site. It also helps us to backtrack to possible sources and causes when there is an air pollution event.

Policy

LRBOI staff monitor decisions before the MDEQ and EPA for potential impacts to tribal members and the environment in the tribe's service area. These can be anything from a change in permitting levels at a source, changes with the monitoring network, changes in the standards for "clean" air, as well as many other situations.

Services

LRBOI staff perform many services to members. In addition to monitoring the air, the staff also answers questions from members, comments on permit decisions in the service area and gives out notices of hazardous air events.

Report a Hazardous Air Event

If you wish to report a hazardous air event, you can use this form. Simply fill out the hazardous air event form (there should be 2 small check boxes in the upper right above the "Submit by Email" and "Print Form" buttons that will allow you to "Highlight Fields" and "Highlight Required Fields". You should check the second checkbox to show you which fields need to be filled out in the form) and then choose either "Submit by Email" button in the upper-right of the form if you'd like to e-mail it in, or the "Print Form" button next to that if you'd like to print it out and mail it in yourself. When mailing it in using the postal mail, please use the following address to make sure it gets to the right place:

Air Quality Program
375 River St.
Manistee, Michigan 49660

Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Various links to helpful websites:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

United States Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Home Page
This is a very well done website that is informative to everyone from the lay person to the environmental professional

Tribes in EPA Region 5
This page has a short, but comprehensive history of the LRBOI

Ozone Designations in Michigan

PM2.5 Designations in Michigan

Criteria Air Pollutants Home Page
Lots of information on the Criteria Air Pollutants and why they are important

Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) Home Page
Lots of information on the HAPs and why they are important

Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBTs) Home Page
Lots of information on the PBTs and why they are important

AIRNow - Quality of Air means Quality of Life

Quality of Air Means Quality of Life

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA Home Page
Lots of information on weather related subjects

Weather forecast and current conditions at Manistee's Blacker Airport

Air Quality Forecast for Michigan
This site uses air modeling to forecast ground level ozone concentrations around Michigan

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ Home Page

Air Home Page

MIair
Current air quality conditions throughout the state of Michigan

Current conditions at LRBOI's monitoring station

Air Publications Page
Lots of information is contained in these easy to read reports

Annual Air Quality Reports
Web page to download all Annual Air Quality Reports for Michigan

Ozone Data Summaries
Ozone monitoring data summaries for current and past years for around Michigan

Air Quality Contact Information

Physical Address:
159 Brick Yard Rd.
Manistee, MI 49660

Mailing Address:
2608 Government Center Drive
Attn: Natural Resources
Manistee, MI 49660

Phone: (231) 723-1594
Toll-Free: 1-866-723-1594
Fax Number: (231) 723-8873


Thomas Shepard
Air Quality Specialist
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(231) 398-2275