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



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Enviro-Mich message from wrightd@voyager.net (David Wright)
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Even before ozone forecasting has begun for the summer smog season, west
Michigan has already exceeded the health based standards for exposure to
ozone.  On the same day the DEQ was holding a public hearing on their
inadequate ozone transport rule, communities all across west Michigan were
experiencing high smog concentrations.  Ozone forecasting for Ozone Action!
days won't begin until next Monday in west Michigan.  Even so, some
communities may already have reached levels that will result in their being
designated non-attainment and requiring clean up.

For Immediate Release                            Contact:        David
Wright  (517) 487-9539
May 7, 1999
Lana Pollack   (517) 487-9539
DIRTY AIR BLANKETS WEST MICHIGAN AS STATE
PROPOSES INADEQUATE POLLUTION REDUCTIONS

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.

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
pollution.

The call for vital pollution reductions come as MEC releases a report
entitled Smog Watch which documents violations of health-based air quality
standards during the past two summers.  MEC Policy Specialist David Wright
pointed out that Coloma, Holland, Frankfort, Muskegon, and Evans will
likely have additional violations this summer, in which case they will
legally be designated a "dirty air zone" in need of cleanup.  "Because we
continue to have a smog problem in west Michigan, we must take advantage of
this regional opportunity to clean up the air so we can breathe easier,"
Wright added.

MEC will track ozone smog levels throughout the summer in an effort to
reduce regional air pollution and clean the air in west 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 http://www.cleanair.net.

-30-

David Wright
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539* FAX: (517) 487-9541
wrightd@voyager.net
http://www.mienv.org



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