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E-M:/ Press Release -- Start of Ozone Season in SE Michigan

Enviro-Mich message from wrightd@voyager.net (David Wright)

This summer is the last year of data gathering on smog before EPA
designates non-attainment areas.  Southeast Michigan will most likely be
non-attainment.  On Tuesday of this week DEQ was holding a public hearing
on their inadequate ozone transport rule, that same day Detroit was having
an ozone action day.

For Immediate Release                            Contact:        David
Wright  (517) 487-9539
May 7, 1999
Lana Pollack   (517) 487-9539


Environmental Groups Call on State Officials to Clean Our Air!

With the season's first day of dangerously high smog, three Michigan
environmental organizations are calling on the state to drop its lawsuit
against the EPA's new clean air rules.  Releasing a report entitled Smog
Watch, which documents violations of health-based air quality standards in
Michigan for the past two summers, the environmentalists criticized state
officials for ducking their responsibility to clean up dirty summer air.

The EPA's rules call for reducing smog-causing pollutants which come from
coal-burning power plants and heavy industry.  Michigan has joined seven
other states whose economies are closely linked to coal in challenging the
federal requirements for cleaner air, while 14 other states are supporting
the federal action.

"It's crazy for the state Department of Environmental Quality to be
fighting to keep us on the receiving end of Wisconsin, Indiana, and
Illinois pollution," said Lana Pollack, President of the Michigan
Environmental Council (MEC), a Lansing-based coalition of environmental and
public health groups.  "While our neighbors in the states upwind of us are
proceeding to reduce the pollution that blows our way, Michigan has chosen
not to do its share," stated Lana Pollack.

"It's only the first week of May and we've already had our first Ozone
Action! day.  That spells danger to people with asthma and certain heart
problems, " added Dr. Kathyrn Savoie, Environmental Program Director for
the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in

Governor Engler and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director
Harding have directed Michigan's Attorney General to challenge the EPA in
an attempt to stop its clean air mandate.  The mandate requires a reduction
in nitrogen oxide emissions beginning in 2003.  Michigan's governor is
seeking to implement a weaker substitute plan in spite of repeated calls by
state leaders for a much stronger consensus approach to reducing air

"The three year trend in accumulative average nearly assures that SE
Michigan will be legally designated as a dirty air zone in 1999," said Rob
Cedar President of HEAT.  "Such a designation is cause for serious health
concerns and will mandate cleanup activities,"stated Rob Cedar.

ACCESS, HEAT, and MEC will track ozone smog levels throughout the summer in
an effort to reduce regional air pollution and clean the air in southeast
Michigan.  A copy of the full Smog Watch report can be obtained by calling
MEC at (517) 487-9539 or can be accessed on the Internet at


David Wright
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539* FAX: (517) 487-9541

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