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E-M:/ Press Release: Power Plants and Global Warming



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Enviro-Mich message from davemec@voyager.net (Dave Dempsey)
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FOR  IMMEDIATE  RELEASE
December 3, 1997

CONTACT:  Sally Billups, MEC
 (517) 487-9539
 Beverly DeCenso, ALAM
 1 (800) 543-LUNG

ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH GROUPS JOIN TO CLEAN UP DIRTY POWER PLANTS;
CLEANUP WOULD BRING HEALTH BENEFITS,
HELP SOLVE GLOBAL WARMING CRISIS

LANSING -- Michigan can contribute to reducing greenhouse gases by closing
a loophole that allows massive air pollution from dirty coal-fired power
plants, physicians, health and environmental advocates from Michigan said
today.

While world leaders are meeting in Kyoto, Japan this week to set long-term
goals to reduce greenhouse gases, Michigan could contribute significantly
to the solution and protect public health at the same time, the advocates
said.

"Cleaning up our aging power plants not only would bring major health
benefits," said Karen Kendrick-Hands, air policy specialist of East
Michigan Environmental Action Council "but would be a practical step
towards solving the global warming issues that we face."

"Power plants are the source of many of our local and global environmental
problems, and the solution needs to start here at home.  We're simply
asking that dirty power plants clean up to meet modern emission control
standards," said Dave Dempsey, policy director of Michigan Environmental
Council (MEC).

The groups called on Governor Engler to begin addressing the global warming
problem at home by requiring that state's aging power plants to meet the
same air pollution standards as new plants.  They also called on Michigan's
congressional delegation to close the 20-year loophole in the Clean Air Act
that allows these older plants to emit so much pollution.

Dempsey explained that a two-decade old loophole in the law allows older
power plants to pollute  up to 10 times the rate of plants that meet modern
standards.

Said Dr. Michael Harbut, MD, MPH, a Southfield physician board-certified in
Occupational and Environmental Medicine: "The respiratory health of
Michigan citizens would benefit immediately from a reduction in air
pollution from power plants.  There's clear evidence that our most exposed
and sensitive populations, ranging from workers to children and the
elderly, are at risk from the health effects of pollutants that come out
coal-emitting smokestacks."

"Fine soot particles from power plant emissions have been linked to
premature death and a host of respiratory problems," said Elliot Levinsohn,
air quality specialist of the American Lung Association of Michigan (ALAM).
"Coal-burning plants also produce smog-forming pollution that cause
increased hospital emergency room visits for asthmatic children and other
sensitive groups."

"Making all power plants meet modern pollution control requirements would
be a big first step towards solving global warming issues," said Dempsey.
He noted that this step alone would achieve about one-half of the carbon
dioxide emission cuts needed to stabilize power plants emissions at 1990
levels by the year 2010.
##

Dave Dempsey
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539
(517) 487-9541 (fax)
davemec@voyager.net
www.sojourn.com/mec



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