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E-M:/ End of June Smog Season Update

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

As we enter July, the third month of Michigan's smog season, now's a
reasonable time to count up the good, the bad, and the smoggy.  To recap
1999's smog news, in February (not usually a smoggy month in the Great
Lakes Region) Director Harding released Michigan's Relative Risk Task Force
Report on Air Quality Issues.  With much fanfare, press attention and
backslapping all around, Director Harding reported the results.  The report
summarizes that for ground level ozone -- "Concentrations are decreasing
and based on the one-hour standard, ozone does not warrant additional
control measures in Michigan.  Violations of the one-hour standard that
occurred in western Michigan should be eliminated with the implementation
of anticipated control programs in neighboring upwind states."  The report
also included only data through 1997.

The following list summarizes the annual number of exceedances of the old
one-hour standard for this year and the past two years.

1997                     1
1998                     9
1999 (first two months)  2

By not including 1998 data, the task force did not have to deal with the
increase observed last year.  Also, as Alex Sagady has already pointed out,
the New Haven monitor has continually exceeded the one-hour standard each
of the past three years.  Raising the question why is New Haven classified
as meeting the old one-hour air quality standard?  

The DEQ task force report also totally ignored the new 8-hour ozone
standard (Michigan was already in federal court attempting to block this
new public health standard).  

Now only two months into the 1999 smog season, Michigan has recorded more
exceedances of the 8-hour standard than occurred during all of last year.
And, the trend of the this year and the past two years has been one of
increases in air pollution throughout the state.  The following list
summarizes the 8-hour exceendances by year.

1997	                  91
1998	                 123
1999 (first two months) 127

If the smog exceedances continue at this pace Michigan will exceed the new
eight-hour standard over 300 times during the 1999 smog season........

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