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E-M:/ Governor and other elected officials must like brown haze

Enviro-Mich message from David Wright <wrightd@voyager.net>

	Since Sunday, everyday of this week has been an ozone action day in west
Michigan and in southeast Michigan.  The lead story of today's Detroit News
is "High smog levels hit Metro Detroit."  The central picture shows
Detroiters on Belle Isle with the view of the Detroit skyline obscured by
haze.  But, if Michigan wins the two lawsuits that have been filed to block
the new eight-hour ozone standard and block the implementation of the
regional smog transport rule, this will be just another summer day.  

	An official ozone action day is forecasted when the new eight-hour ozone
standard is expected to be exceeded.  The eight-hour standard was proposed
and adopted by EPA because scientific evidence demonstrated that
significant portions of the public were at risk due to these
concentrations.  If the Governor and his allies in the dirty coal burning
utility industry succeed in rolling back EPA's new eight-hour standard
today's ozone action alerts will not be issued, even though the health
risks are still present.  

	At Governor Engler's direction, Michigan has joined with industry
lobbyists and is in Federal Court attempting to change the rules so that
large old coal-fired power plants can continue to emit many times more
pollution than what is allowed from new  power plants.  This position was
recently endorsed by Michigan's House of Representatives when they voted in
favor of the House Resolution opposing EPA's regional smog transport rule.
And, at the Governor's direction, the Attorney General is also fighting EPA
in an attempt to repeal the new eight hour ozone standard.  

	So, while the Governor talks of his interest in clean air, in the
courtrooms Engler has joined with industry to ensure that our current ozone
action days become a thing of the past -- not because the air is cleaner
but because the standards are weaker.
David Wright
Policy Specialist
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, Michigan 48912
(517) 487-9539 phone  (517) 487-9541 fax

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