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E-M:/ MEC Responds To Ozone Rule Letter



Title:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         More Information:
Tuesday, July 29, 2003                                                         David Gard
                                                                                             517-487-9539


Congressional Ozone Rule Letter Raises Questions
Environmental Group Defends EPA’s New 8-hour Standard

LANSING—The Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) today strongly defended proposed tougher clean air standards in response to the 17-member Michigan Congressional delegation’s letter made public Monday expressing concern about a new rule that would give the public more protection from heavy ozone smog.

“The letter suggests serious foot-dragging on moving ahead with the new 8-hour ozone rule. Our members of congress need to be clear about their positions on this important issue,” said MEC President Lana Pollack.  “They have thousands of constituents who suffer from asthma, heart disease and chronic bronchitis who will be harmed if these rules are not fully implemented.

“A lot of these members have good records on clean air and I would be alarmed and disappointed to learn that any of them would put the interests of the worst polluters ahead of public health.”   

The EPA first issued the proposed rule, known as the 8-hour ozone standard, during the Clinton Administration because scientific evidence shows that measuring ozone levels in one hour increments under the current method does not protect the public, particularly children, from the adverse health effects caused by heavy ozone smog.   It is slated to go into effect in 2004.

The 1972 Clean Air Act requires that the EPA air rules be based on standards that protect public health with an adequate margin of safety.   Clear air rules are also required to be periodically updated to reflect the latest science.  Heavy polluting industries, led by the coal and coal burning power industries including Michigan’s DTE and Consumers Energy companies – and often joined by the auto industry – have been close allies of the Bush Administration in a number of attacks on the Clean Air Act. All of these efforts center on avoiding better pollution controls that would result in cleaner air.

“I’m sick of hearing the patently stupid argument that Michigan’s children are suffering from Chicago’s dirty air,” said Pollack. “Where in the world do they think Michigan’s pollution goes? To Mars? Everyone’s pollution needs to be cleaned up. The dirty air is costing kids their health, older people their lives and all of us a fortune in unnecessary hospital costs.”

MEC has sent a letter to Michigan’s U.S. Senators and Representatives, explaining the need for implementing the new air standards and asking them to clarify their individual positions on the matter. 

To see the Michigan congressional delegation letter go to: http://www.house.gov/hoekstra/EPALetter.pdf
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-- 
David Holtz
Communications & Development Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Drive, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
holtzmec@voyager.net
517-487-9539 ext.12 
517-487-9541 fax

9539.


-- 
David Holtz
Communications & Development Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Drive, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
holtzmec@voyager.net
517-487-9539 ext.12 
517-487-9541 fax

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