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E-M:/ More on the Energy Bill

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

This content is from Attorney Blake Early at the American
Lung Association Washington DC government affairs office
and is intended for Michigan activists on clean air and the
energy bill.......


There are two Clean Air Act "riders" in the energy bill that affect 
Michigan.  We have reason to believe that Senators Levin and Stabenow are 
under much pressure to change their votes against cloture, to enable 
adoption of these provisions.

The first is the so-called Barton Amendment. This amendment was never 
considered by the House or Senate and was written in secret by the House 
leadership.   It would allow EPA to extend an ozone non-attainment area's 
attainment deadline if it was receiving "significant" ozone transported 
from another area or state.  The language is quite vague and will do major 
damage to the Clean Air Act in the following ways:

1.      Although originally born to relieve Dallas from its 1-hour ozone 
deadline, Barton has acknowledged it is applicable to 8-hour ozone 
deadlines that EPA has yet to finalize.
2.      The amendment does not define "significant". A reference to the NOX 
SIP call suggests that a contribution of 15% or possibly less would be 
sufficient to qualify.
3.      The provision places no obligation on up-wind areas to reduce 
emissions from sources that send ozone downwind sooner than other sources 
or to a greater extent than needed for local attainment.
4.      While the amendment authors claim they are simply adopting a 
Clinton Administration policy, the language is much broader.  The amendment 
requires EPA to extend an area's deadline; EPA has no discretion to deny a 
requested extension if a "significant" contribution from transported 
pollution has been demonstrated.

In sum, since most 8-hour non-attainment areas receive some transport from 
sources outside the area, the Barton amendment would allow a chaotic round 
of finger pointing rather than clean up.  The result could lead to millions 
of people being exposed to unhealthy levels of ozone for much longer than 
allowed under current Clean Air Act requirements. In Michigan while local 
politicians would look favorably on the prospect of the Detroit area and 
western Michigan obtaining extended deadlines, so too would areas that send 
transported air pollution to Michigan.  The result would be everyone 
breathing dirty air longer.

A second amendment in the energy bill was devised at the behest of Rep. 
Fred Upton for southwestern Michigan. It would require EPA to "study" the 
impact of transported air pollution on southwestern Michigan for two years 
by means of a "demonstration project" before making any non-attainment 
designations under the 8-hour ozone standard and setting attainment 
deadlines. Again this language was never considered in either House or 
Senate and has several problems as follows:

1.      Since the demonstration project is limited to certain areas in 
southwestern Michigan it will provoke a rash of similar riders for areas 
elsewhere in Michigan and nation-wide who claim similar transport impacts.
2.      The language does not describe what the demonstration project is 
supposed to demonstrate other than requiring a focus on transported 
pollutants.  The implication is that EPA may do something to reduce 
transport in lieu of non-attainment designation, but the amendment does not 
require such action.

This amendment is simply about delay and not about protecting public 
health.  People living in southwest Michigan will breathe dirty air 
longer.  In addition, the amendment will promote a whole round of "me too" 


Contact Senator Levin and Senator Stabenow right away.  Thank them for 
voting in opposition to the cloture motion on the Energy Bill. Urge them to 
continue opposing the Energy Bill Conference Report and to continue to 
oppose cloture(a technique for cutting off debate and ending a 
filibuster).  Tell them the Barton and Upton amendments(Sections 1443 and 
970) are not solutions to air pollution problems in Michigan and will make 
things worse.

Senator Levin's environmental staff person in Washington is Kaye 
Meier.  Her e- mail is: .  Her phone is: 202-224-6221.

Senator Stabenow's environmental staff person is: Noushin Jahanian.  Her 
e-mail is .  Her phone is 202-224-4822.

Write a "letter to the editor" of your local newspaper thanking Senators 
Levin and Stabenow for their principled stand against the Energy Bill and 
urging them to stand fast.

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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