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Re: E-M:/ Dearborn Air Pollution



Title:
But what about the report from the EPA today that the air is actually cleaner?


Jeff Kart
Bay City (Michigan) Times.
News for release:  Wednesday, September 22, 2004

               U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

       2003 Status Report Shows U.S. Air Cleanest Ever Since 1970

         Cynthia Bergman 202-564-9828 / bergman.cynthia@epa.gov


(Washington, D.C.-September 22, 2004)  Total emissions of the six
principal pollutants identified in the Clean Air Act dropped again in
2003, signaling that America's air is the cleanest ever in three
decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported today.
Annual emissions statistics for the six pollutants are considered major
indicators of the quality of the nation's air because of their
importance for human health and the existence of their long-standing
national standards.

Emissions have continued to decrease even as our economy has increased
more than 150 percent. Since 1970 (change numbers to reflect 1970
baseline), the aggregate total emissions for the six pollutants [Carbon
Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Particulate
Matter (PM), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Lead (Pb)] have been
cut from 301.5 million tons per year to 147.8 million tons per year, a
decrease of 51 percent.  Total 2003 emissions were down 12 million tons
since 2000, a 7.8 percent reduction.  (See summary table at:
http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/econ-emissions.html ).

"Thanks to this progress, today's air is the cleanest most Americans
have ever breathed," said Administrator Mike Leavitt.  "Now, EPA is
taking up the challenge to accelerate the pace of that progress into the
future."

The Agency recently issued regulations that will cut diesel pollution by
90 percent, and later this year will finalize regulations cutting power
plant pollution by approximately 70 percent.

A major reason for the nation's progress is the innovative, market-based
acid rain cap-and-trade program enacted in 1990.  The Acid Rain Progress
Report, also released today, shows annual SO2 and NOx emissions have
declined 5.1 million tons (32 percent) and 2.5 million tons (37
percent), respectively, since 1990.  The program generated double-digit
cuts at its inception and is now maturing, with small fluctuations up
and down as emissions gradually near their respective end goal caps.

"Cleaning the air gets more difficult as the maximum benefits from
existing rules are achieved and the low-hanging fruit is gone," said
Leavitt.  "The sharp cuts of the early years of the Acid Rain Program
are behind us now, and it's time to take the next step to protect
people's health – the next step is the Clean Air Interstate Rule."

The Bush Administration's Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) stands to be
the acid rain program of the this decade, enabling the country to once
again enjoy sharp cuts in harmful pollutant levels.  It will use the
same proven cap-and-trade approach as the Acid Rain program, creating
financial incentives for electricity generators to look for new and
low-cost ways to reduce emissions early.

CAIR will use cap-and-trade to address power plant emissions in 29
eastern states plus the District of Columbia.  The program would cut SO2
by more than 40 percent from today's levels by 2010, and 70 percent when
fully implemented.  NOx emissions would be cut by 50 percent from
today's levels by 2010, and 60 percent when fully implemented.  The
Administration plans to finalize CAIR this fall.

"The Acid Rain Program is a national success story because we achieved
early reductions, cost-effectively and with near-perfect compliance,"
said Leavitt.  "CAIR will provide similar benefits, ensuring that our
nation's air continues to get cleaner well into the next decade."

For more information:  CAIR: see
http://www.epa.gov/interstateairquality/
2003 Emissions Report: see
http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/econ-emissions.html
Acid Rain Report: see http://www.epa.gov/acidrainreport


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Fineart3@aol.com wrote:
Bob Burns, the Detroit Riverkeeper, and I have visited the lower Rouge each month since May gathering water pollution data. The air is stifling, even with a 15 mph wind during May, my throat burned after just a half hour exposure. There is a whole bouquet of offensive odors including grit and smelting vapors from the steel complex at Ford Rouge, cement dust, refinery odors, incinerated waste sludge from the Detroit sewage plant, on one occasion the wind was blowing from the Windsor waste incinerator bathing River Rouge in a particularly nauseating stench. I find it appalling that families with children, as well workers, are forced to exist in these conditions. If corporate executives had to live in this foul plume or if political parties were forced to hold their conventions there things would change. Anyone who doesn't believe air and water pollution in America are a reality in the Twenty-first Century should visit the lower Rouge.
 
John Covert
Friends of the Detroit River

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Jeff Kart
Environment/Politics reporter
The Bay City Times, http://www.mlive.com/bctimes/
311 Fifth St.
Bay City, MI 48708-5853

Phone: (989) 894-9639
Toll-free in Mich.: 1-800-875-4444, ext. 639
Fax: (989) 893-0649.

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