Community Monitoring

CommunityAs part of the environmental justice needs assessment, HEC partnered with an expert at a local university to help community activists conduct air quality sampling around the Region.

As detailed in Part VI of the report, a methodology was used that enables citizens to take highly reliable samples after a brief training.

This sampling identified contaminants in the Region’s air that are not typically monitored. There was for example a dramatic spike in a chemical used in metal extraction in the air at a park in East Chicago’s Indiana Harbor neighborhood.

An initiative dedicated to environmental justice issues in the Region could facilitate this kind of monitoring on a broader scale, and help the Region’s people identify key unmonitored chemicals in their air and address the problems these chemicals may create.

Chart showing spike in N-methyl-N-octyl-1-octanamine, a chemical used in extracting zinc and other metals, in the air at East Chicago’s Washington Park.

Chart showing spike in N-methyl-N-octyl-1-octanamine, a chemical used in extracting zinc and other metals, in the air at East Chicago’s Washington Park.

The complete findings of the monitoring program are available for download as a ZIP file of our complete data in Excel format here.