The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources uses the equipment seen here to monitor air pollution levels for the Environmental Protection Agency. For several years, the monitor has reported high ozone readings that fall below federal standards, resulting in sanctions for the entire County of Kenosha.
Located within the Chiwaukee Prairie Nature Preserve, the station is less than one mile north of the Illinois state line and roughly 300 yards from Lake Michigan - in the far southeastern corner of the state. A recent EPA study estimates that over 95% of the pollutants measured at this location come from out of state (Illinois 38%, Indiana 16%, Others 41%).
Efforts to establish a second monitor in a central location within the county have yet been unsuccessful. Many believe that the county's air quality is significantly better away from the lakefront.
The failing grades have resulted in stricter regulations for new or expanding industry in the county, causing a negative impact on the local economy.