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Re: E-M:/ Where's Jennifer? Where's Mike?

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

On the matter of defending the Clean Air Act,
and "Where's Jennifer and where's Mike"  the states of
Wisconsin and Illinois....Michigan's neighbors....have
just announced this afternoon their legal counterattack in Federal Court 
the Bush effort to gut the Clean Air Act through
the changes in "new source review" regulations......

See below...


For Release Feb. 27, 2003                 CONTACT:  Caryl Terrell , Sierra
Club, 608-256-0565
      Melissa Scanlan, Midwest Environmental Advocates, 608- 251-5047 ext.3
                                                   Kerry Schumann, WISPIRG, 


Madison WI:  Environmental and consumer organizations today praised
Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and Governor Jim Doyle for
fighting a rollback of Clean Air Act health protections.  A lawsuit that
will be filed by Lautenschlager’s office Friday alleges that the federal
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is exceeding its authority in enacting
rules that weaken the Clean Air Act.  Twelve other States have also filed
similar suits against the Bush Administration for relaxing clean air

The Governor's action comes on the same day that the Bush Administration
introduced to Congress additional proposals to rollback the Clean Air Act.

“Wisconsin citizens will breathe easier thanks to prompt action today by
Governor Jim Doyle and AG Peg Lautenschlager,” said Caryl Terrell, Director
of the Sierra Club’s John-Muir Chapter.  “The Sierra Club, Midwest
Environmental Advocates and WISPIRG thank the Attorney General and Governor
Doyle for working to protect the health of Wisconsin residents by standing
up to the Bush Administration’s attempts to loosen pollution laws designed
to reduce harmful emissions from the largest sources of pollution.  Also the
Governor and AG are defending Wisconsin’s interests by making sure pollution
sources in other states responsibly control ozone causing pollution and fine
particle soot that damages public health.”

The Eastern Portion of Wisconsin, including the Greater Milwaukee area, is
still recording air pollution levels that exceed federal health standards
for ozone smog and fine particle soot.  Large industrial air pollution
sources that are subject to NSR requirements are major contributors to air
quality problems in Wisconsin.  Ozone smog causes breathing discomfort,
coughing, chest pain and can trigger asthma attacks.

“Tens of thousands of adults and children suffer from asthma throughout
Wisconsin,” said Melissa Scanlan, Executive Director of Midwest
Environmental Advocates.  Particulate matter (PM2.5) is made up of extremely
small soot particles and contributes to increased numbers of asthma attacks,
as well as more respiratory hospitalizations, emergency room visits and
premature deaths. “If allowed to stand,” Scanlan noted, “the rollbacks
established by the Bush Administration threaten to prevent Wisconsin from
reaching clean air standards and will lead to even more breathing problems.”

"Attorney General Lautenschlager and Governor Doyle have sent a strong
signal that the state of Wisconsin wants to be home to clean air, not
increased asthma attacks and pollution," stated Kerry Schumann, the
Executive Director of the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group
(WISPIRG).  "With hundreds of premature deaths in Wisconsin due to
coal-fired power plant pollution each year, we cannot afford to have any
rollbacks to our clean air laws."

In December, the Bush Administration finalized a rollback of federal clean
air rules under the New Source Review  (NSR) program.  The program requires
that large industrial plants add modern air pollution controls when they are
upgraded or modified and substantially increase air pollution emissions.  It
affects facilities such as power plants, steel mills, refineries, cement
kilns and other large sources of dangerous air pollution. There are an
estimated 17,000 such large facilities nationwide, including over 700 in
Wisconsin.  Rather than improving the environment and protecting public
health by lowering levels of air pollution, new Bush Administration rules
will have the opposite effect of allowing more air pollution.



Contact: Melissa Merz
(312) 814-2518
February 27, 2003



Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today challenged the Bush 
Administration’s proposed rollback of a key provision of the federal Clean 
Air Act that improves air quality by requiring that older, dirtier plants 
install modern pollution control equipment when they make major 
modifications that increase air pollution.

The provision – known as New Source Review – regulates emissions of sulfur 
dioxide, nitrogen oxide, lead, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds 
and soot.

Madigan filed the petition for review of the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., on 
behalf of the State of Illinois and the Illinois Environmental Protection 
Agency (IEPA). The new rule is scheduled to take effect next Monday; 
several northeastern states have asked the same court to put that rule on 
hold until the court decides whether it violates the intent of the 
underlying Clean Air Act.

Madigan said Illinoisans have a clear stake in preventing efforts to weaken 
existing law. According to the American Lung Association of Metropolitan 
Chicago, asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization for Illinois 
children. In Chicago, the asthma hospitalization rate is double the 
national average. Additionally, a 1998 study found the asthma death rate 
for African American Illinoisans is more than four times the national 
average and the highest in the nation.

“Clean air is not a political issue; it is a health issue,” Madigan said. 
“The changes proposed by the Bush Administration may sound technical, but 
in real-world terms, it means more Illinois kids missing school because of 
asthma, more of our communities that can’t meet air quality standards and 
more harm to our environment.”

Lawyers at the Attorney General’s office worked closely with the IEPA on 
the filing.

“Governor Blagojevich and Attorney General Madigan are sending the message 
through this action that the worthwhile goal of regulatory reform and 
flexibility should not compromise continued progress in air quality,” IEPA 
Director Renee Cipriano said.

Madigan said the new rule includes several significant changes to current 
law, including:

     * Companies will now be able to modify existing equipment with 
substantial increases in actual emissions without triggering the need for 
additional pollution controls. Industry will be given greater discretion to 
claim the emissions increases are unrelated to the modification or expansion.

     * Companies currently are required to use the most recent two years of 
emissions data when determining whether a particular proposed modification 
will result in a major emissions increase and trigger NSR. That baseline 
also is used to impose future emissions limits. However, the new rule will 
allow industry to select any consecutive 24-month period in the previous 10 
years. For example, a company could pick two years when emissions were very 
high instead of a period when emissions were lower. Any subsequent increase 
would not look as significant in comparison with the higher emissions data.

     * Companies now will be able to obtain plant-wide applicability limits 
(PAL), which will allow a source to forgo preconstruction review under NSR 
as long as the total emissions remain within the PAL. One problem is that 
the PAL is established through a manipulated baseline; another problem is 
that, once established, a PAL is not subject to revision for 10 years.

     * Modifications at a unit designated as a "Clean Unit" now are excused 
from NSR for a period of 10 years if the unit still meets the limits 
originally set as state of the art. The problem is that state of the art 
technology may improve dramatically in a short amount of time.

* Pollution control projects designed to reduce one pollutant will be able 
to escape NSR review even though the projects result in increased emissions 
of another pollutant. While one pollutant may decrease, potentially an 
equally harmful pollutant could increase without any review.

Other states challenging the new rule include: Connecticut, Maine, 
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island and Vermont.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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