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E-M:/ MDEQ wants to redesignate 11 counties for ozone attainment

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

petition at:

May 26, 2006

Contact:  Robert McCann
               (517) 241-7397

DEQ Requests Air Quality Redesignation for 11 Counties
Michigan Counties Are Meeting Federal Ozone Standards

Eleven Michigan counties have clearly demonstrated improvements in air quality, and the Department of Environmental Quality has requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency make a determination that those counties are now in attainment with the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard.  This request includes the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Kent, Ottawa, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Benzie, Mason, and Huron.

If the EPA agrees with the DEQ's assessment, it will save the public and businesses in these counties millions of dollars that can then be put toward economic development and growth.

"We are making significant progress in our goal for a cleaner environment," reports DEQ Director Steven E. Chester.  "The DEQ will continue to pursue air pollution reductions throughout Michigan, and do so in a way that allows our state to grow and prosper."

The DEQ demonstrated that every ground-level ozone monitor located in the 11 counties meets the federal standards and that continued attainment through the year 2018 can be expected.  Pollutant emission reductions have resulted in less ozone formed on hot summer days.  The DEQ will continue to track ozone levels and has identified contingency measures to address potential future problems.

Elevated ozone concentrations can cause breathing problems, especially for children, people with lung disease, and those who work or exercise outdoors for prolonged periods.  Ozone can also harm forests and crops.

Vehicle exhaust and fuel evaporation are responsible for much of the pollution that ultimately forms ground-level ozone.  The DEQ will monitor the impacts of transportation improvement plans on air quality to ensure that the counties remain in attainment with the ozone standards.

Redesignation to attainment status will more accurately reflect air quality conditions in the 11 counties and will remove a disincentive for economic growth.  Federal guidelines make it more difficult to open a new manufacturing facility, or expand an existing one, in a non-attainment county because of restrictions on air permitting in those counties.  The DEQ's request would remove those obstacles.

"We are committed to providing for a healthy environment as well as a healthy economy throughout Michigan," added Director Chester.   

The DEQ is currently evaluating a similar request demonstrating that an additional 5 counties are also meeting Ozone standards.  These counties include Genessee, Lapeer, Muskegon, Berrien, and Cass.

For more information on air quality where you live, visit the DEQ "AIR" Web page at www.michigan.gov/deqair.


"Protecting Michigan's Environment, Ensuring Michigan's Future"

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 

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