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E-M:/ EPA News Release on Ozone nonattainment



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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                 U.S. EPA REGION 5 NEWS RELEASE
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CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 04-OPA040

EPA names Michigan counties that do not meet new 8-hour ground-level ozone
standard

CHICAGO (Apr. 15, 2004)   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today
that 25 Michigan counties do not meet the new 8-hour, health-based outdoor
air quality standard for ground-level ozone.  The counties are:
Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, Wayne, Lenawee,
Genesee, Lapeer, Ottawa, Kent, Muskegon, Allegan, Huron, Calhoun,
Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Berrien, Benzie, Cass and
Mason.

In a letter to Governor Jennifer Granholm, EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt
said, "These ozone standards are strong medicine.  As a former Governor of
Utah, I recognize that having parts of your state designated as being in
nonattainment will require more actions on your part to achieve cleaner,
healthier air.  We need to work together to make certain your state can,
as other have in the past, clean the air while sustaining economic
growth."

"The good news here is that the air is getting cleaner," said Acting
Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "We've made a lot of progress over
the last 30-plus years.  Now, to pick up the pace of environmental
progress, we've raised the bar with this new tougher standard."

These counties, called nonattainment areas, have (or contribute to) ozone
levels higher than allowed under EPA's 8-hour ozone national air quality
standard.  The standard is designed to protect the public from exposure to
ground-level ozone.  Ozone is unhealthy to breathe   especially for people
with respiratory diseases, and for children and adults who are active
outdoors.  By law, nonattainment areas may be subject to certain
requirements to reduce ozone-forming pollution.

Ground-level ozone forms when emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile
organic compounds "cook" in the sun.  Sources of these pollutants include
cars and trucks, power plants, refineries and other large industrial
facilities, and some natural sources.

Breathing ozone can irritate air passages, reduce lung function, aggravate
asthma, and inflame and damage  the cells lining the lungs.  It also may
aggravate chronic lung diseases like emphysema and bronchitis, may reduce
the immune system's ability to fight off bacterial infections in the
respiratory system and cause permanent lung damage.

EPA issued the 8-hour ozone standard in July 1997, based on information
demonstrating the 1-hour standard was inadequate for protecting public
health.  Scientific information shows that ozone can affect human health
at lower levels, and over longer exposure times than one hour.

Deadlines for meeting the 8-hour ozone standard range from 2009 to 2010,
depending on the severity of an area's ozone problem. The 8-hour ozone
standard is 0.08 parts per million (ppm) averaged over eight hours.  The
1-hour standard is 0.12 ppm, measured in hourly readings.  For more
information, including a listing of all designations, go to:
www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations.

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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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