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Re: E-M:/ Poor MDEQ News Release Timing



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Enviro-Mich message from "Robert McCann" <mccannr@michigan.gov>
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Alex - 

The fact that EPA has recognized the long-term air quality improvements
in Michigan is a significant statement about the progress we have made. 
Nobody is suggesting that there aren't going to be isolated air quality
issues, but this represents long term improvements across the state. 
For example, look at the number of ozone actions days we had this year. 
In Grand Rapids there were 6, and in Southeast Michigan there were 2,
which are far fewer than there were in years past.  I would characterize
that as something that we as a state should be proud of.

The current PM 2.5 problems we are experiencing are due to a stationary
front that is simply sitting over our state without moving, and we are
getting a build up of unhealthy air as a result.  I hardly think its
fair to compare an isolated weather front with the long-term
improvements we have seen in regards to ozone.

As for the "MDEQ PR Managers", I assume you're referring to me as I am
ultimately responsible for the press releases that you see.  I have made
every effort to get the word out about our MIair & Enviro-Flash
services, which we have made available as a tool for anyone to use to
find out when air quality levels are expected to be of concern.  There
have been multiple press releases issued, most recently on September 29
of this year, a spotlight article on the DEQ homepage, and various
articles written about these services.   We recently expanded MIair to
cover 75 counties in Michigan, reaching 98 percent of the state's
population, which is something that our Air Quality Division worked very
hard to make happen.  So to suggest that we don't want people to know
about the "bad air days" is simply untrue. 

I appreciate the fact that Enviromich helps spread the word about PM
2.5, Ozone, and other air quality issues and encourage that to continue.
 But, considering the information that you post on here is taken
directly from the services that the DEQ made available, its a bit
disappointing that you would choose to criticize us (or maybe just me?)
about it.





Robert McCann
Press Secretary
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Phone:  517-241-7397
Fax:  517-241-7401
Email: mccannr@michigan.gov  

>>> "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com> 11/27/06 4:49 PM
>>>
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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates"
<ajs@sagady.com>
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On a day when Michigan is experiencing some of the worst PM 2.5 
air pollution we've had in recent months and which poses health risks
particularly sensitive individuals, the Michigan DEQ PR Department puts
out this news release
on how we are supposed to be in ozone attainment now.    Talk about 
poor timing!!

MDEQ never puts out any news releases about public health hazards from

PM 2.5 episodes..... at times when sensitive individuals should be told
to 
limit outdoor exersion and exposures.

.....This speaks volumes about the priorities of the MDEQ PR managers
as to 
risk communication......  only "happy news" allowed.

================

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2006

Contact:  Robert McCann
                (517) 241-7397
                                        
DEQ Request to Redesignate 11 Counties Approved
Michigan Counties Are Meeting Federal Ozone Standards

Statewide efforts to improve Michigan*s air quality have resulted in
the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approving a
request by the Department of Environmental Quality to redesignate eleven
counties as in attainment with the ozone National Ambient Air Quality
Standard.  The proposed redesignation includes the counties of Ingham,
Eaton, Clinton, Kent, Ottawa, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Benzie,
Mason, and Huron.

*We are continuing to make significant progress in improving the air
quality across Michigan,* said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester.  *These
efforts are protecting the health of Michigan*s families and ensuring
the quality of Michigan*s environment.*

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

Redesignation to attainment status more accurately reflects 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
nonattainment county because of restrictions on air permitting in those
counties. 

*We are demonstrating that Michigan can have both a healthy environment
and a healthy economy,* added Director 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 EPA*s action will be officially proposed in the Federal Register,
and the public will have 30 days to comment on the proposed action after
it is published.  

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, 
Expert Witness Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and 
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

657 Spartan Ave,  East Lansing, MI  48823  
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com 
========================================== 



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