Environmental Information

Are you looking for information about a particular pollutant such as radon or mercury? Or maybe you are interested in learning about Illinois EPA’s air, water, and land protection activities? Here you can find links to information about specific pollutants that may be present in your home and links to learn how Illinois EPA protects the environment.

Pollutants Around the Home

  • Household Waste – The Household Waste Disposal Solutions web page provides information for common items that require special disposal treatment.
  • Mold – The Illinois Department of Public Health offers two mold-related fact sheets, Mold & Mildew and Moisture in the Home at its website. U.S. EPA’s Mold Resources web pagecontains additional information and resources on mold.
  • Asbestos – Illinois EPA’s asbestos fact sheet, How Do I Manage Asbestos in My House or Apartment Building, provides information about asbestos and how to manage it.
  • Burn Barrels - To learn more about the laws and hazards of backyard burning in Illinois, visit Illinois EPA's web page, Illinois Burn Barrels. More information about backyard burning and burn barrels is available on U.S. EPA's web site, Backyard Burning.
  • Radon – For information about radon and lists of licensed mitigation and measurement professionals, visit the Radon web page at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
  • Lead – The Lead-Based Paint web page at the Illinois Department of Public Health’s web site and U.S. EPA’s Lead in Paint, Dust and Soil web page contain information about lead contamination and protecting your family.
  • Mercury – Illinois EPA’s Mercury web page provides information about mercury, adverse health effects from exposure to mercury, and handling options for mercury containing products in the home.
  • Private Well Water Contamination - The Department of Public Health offers a variety of fact sheets about private wells covering topics such as well sampling, construction, and treatment at its Private Sewage and Water web page. U.S. EPA’sPrivate Drinking Water Wells web page also provides information about testing and protecting private water wells.
  • Treated Wood – U.S. EPA’s fact sheet, What You Need to Know about Wood Pressure Treated with CCA contains information about a wood preservative called CCA, or Chromated Copper Aresenate, a chemical mixture consisting of pesticidal compounds.
  • Used Tires and the West Nile Virus – Used tires are a breeding source for mosquitoes, providing an ideal "incubator" for mosquito eggs and larvae. The Used Tires and the West Nile Virus fact sheet contains information about preventing West Nile Virus through proper used tire management. the Illinois Department of Public Health's West Nile Virus web page offers additional information about West Nile Virus and mosquito prevention.

Air Quality

Air pollution comes from many different sources: stationary sources such as factories or power plants; mobile sources such as cars and buses; and naturally occurring sources such as windblown dust. Illinois EPA provides air quality protection by monitoring air pollution levels, regulating air pollution sources, and developing initiatives, such as Green Pays on Green Days, to further reduce air pollution.

Water Quality

Water quality protection is provided for Illinois’ 87,110 miles of streams, 248,922 acres of lakes, and 63 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Illinois EPA conducts stream studies to identify water quality problems, recommends actions to eliminate these problems, and regulates discharges from industrial, storm water and municipal sources.

Drinking Water

Drinking water protection is provided for the 1,820 community water supplies that serve 25 or more year-round residents, with a goal of every Illinois public water system providing water that is consistently safe to drink. Illinois EPA monitors the drinking water provided by these community water supplies to ensure that all health protective requirements are met and drinking water is free of contamination that has the potential to cause negative health impacts.

Waste Management

Nearly everything we do leaves behind some kind of waste. Industrial and manufacturing processes create solid and hazardous wastes. Households create ordinary garbage and household hazardous waste – chemicals and products in our homes that are potentially harmful. Illinois EPA ensures the proper management of waste and regulates and inspects landfills, transfer stations, and compost facilities.

Land Cleanup

Collectively called “brownfields,” Illinois EPA’s cleanup programs were created to help convert undesirable properties – often contaminated with pollutants or hazardous substances – into safe, usable land.

Vehicle Emissions Testing

To improve the quality of air we breathe and to comply with federal regulations, Illinois EPA requires vehicle emissions testing in the metropolitan areas of Chicago and East St. Louis. Illinois EPA also provides many resources to help guide you through the different testing procedures, as well as where to find the emissions testing station nearest you.

Community Relations

The Office of Community Relations provides information and assistance to the public during site investigations, cleanups, and permit decisions.

Environmental Helpline

The Environmental Helpline is a toll-free service, provided by the Illinois EPA, that offers assistance by telephone, or online.