[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ lawsuit to stop upwind pollution

Enviro-Mich message from davemec@sojourn.com (Dave Dempsey)

MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 1997                 517-487-9539


        The Michigan Environmental Council is asking a federal court to
force utilities and industries in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin to clean
up emissions that blow smog into Michigan and threaten public health.  MEC
is also challenging Michigan officials to join its action, calling for
cleanup of utility and industry emissions upwind of the state.

        On Thursday, August 7, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted
a petition by MEC allowing it and other environmental groups in the region
to intervene in pending litigation by the states of New York and
Pennsylvania, asking the court to overturn a decision by U.S. EPA exempting
areas around Lake Michigan from new controls on nitrogen oxide emissions
that contribute significantly to summertime smog in Michigan.  The New
York/Pennsylvania lawsuit against EPA also targets the states of Illinois,
Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

        "Michigan public officials continue to blame our smog problem on
Chicago and Milwaukee but don't do anything about it," said Lana Pollack,
MEC President.  "We hope they'll join in our effort to force EPA's hand and
reduce these nitrogen oxide emissions."

        The New York/Pennsylvania lawsuit and the groups' amicus brief
charge that EPA erred by failing to amend a final rule it issued in 1995.
That rule waived requirements for new nitrogen oxide controls on sources in
the Midwest, based on computer modeling which suggested reducing the
pollutant would actually increase smog.  The groups say EPA's action was
"arbitrary and capricious" because the agency has since failed to consider
new computer modeling, completed in 1996, which shows that nitrogen oxide
reductions would help reduce summertime ozone levels in the Midwest,
particularly in Michigan.

        MEC and the other groups seek reasonably available control
technology on coal-fired utility power plants and on some large
manufacturing facilities.

        "Michigan citizens would be able to enjoy healthier summers if EPA
toughened its approach and forced cleanup by these dirty coal burning
utilities and industries in the Midwest," Pollack said.

        Nitrogen oxide emissions contribute to increased ozone levels and
threaten the health of people who suffer from asthma, heart conditions and
bronchitis,while causing eye and throat irritation for others.

        Other parties in the amicus brief, which was prepared by the
Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest, are the Citizens
Commission for Clean Air in the Lake Michigan Basin, the Hoosier
Environmental Council, and the Citizen Action Coalition of Indiana.

Dave Dempsey
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539
(517) 487-9541 (fax)

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"