Katwwack!!! That's the sound of my head smacking against my computer desk. Google News Alerts are slowly killing me.
Nov 27th: EPA releases a press release stating the 11 Michigan counties have met ozone requirements. Missing from the federal agency's list were Allegan and Muskegon counties. Elevated concentrations of ground level ozone, which drifts here from other states, continue to be recorded at air monitoring devices in both counties.
Nov 28th: Fox News 28 in South Bend says, "The air in Michigan is getting cleaner. So says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which says eleven Michigan counties are meeting Clean Air Act standards after several years of falling short."
Nov 28th: The Muskegon Chronicle says "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a pollution alert earlier this week that lasted through Tuesday for elevated amounts of particulate matter in the air. Environmental officials say the levels, while not extreme, can be troublesome for those with sensitive respiratory systems..."The air (pollution) is building up and there is no way to blow it clean again," said Laura DeGuire, of the DEQ air quality division. "
Nov 29th: The Grand Rapids Press goes with exactly the same wording, different byline, "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a pollution alert earlier this week that lasted through Tuesday for elevated amounts of particulate matter in the air. Environmental officials say the levels, while not extreme, can be troublesome for those with sensitive respiratory systems...."The air (pollution) is building up and there is no way to blow it clean again," said Laura DeGuire, of the DEQ air quality division.
Nov 30th: Associated Press says, "Under the Clean Air Act, state and local air quality officials have the primary responsibility for implementing the nation's clean air program. But a study finds that state environmental agencies in the 10 profiled states do not have enough inspectors to monitor industrial emissions and enforce the law...The Center for American Progress and the Center for Progressive Reform today issued the report, "Paper Tigers and Killer Air: How Weak Enforcement Leaves Communities Vulnerable to Smog."...The problem lies with declining federal grants to state and local air quality agencies, which are primarily responsible for enforcing federal clean air standards, the report concludes."
The Alliance for the Great Lakes website tells me "Air pollution impacts on the Great Lakes are significant. According to one study, nearly 90 percent of all mercury entering Lake Michigan comes from the sky. As a result, women of childbearing age and other sensitive populations are warned by all four Lake Michigan states to not eat fish."
Nov 30th: Grand Haven Tribune, "Higher air pollution designations have been shown to slow economic growth by placing increased controls on new industrial plants and limits on highway construction, and can lead to vehicle emission inspections and expensive reformulated gasoline. Being designated as a county that meets the eight-hour ground-level ozone monitoring standard eliminates or loosens any restrictions."
Anyhow, to increase economic growth in West Michigan we had to lower ozone levels, but particulates and mercury will remain a serious problem. The question in my brain, "Won't increased economic growth lead to highter particulate and higher mercury?" What a minute, won't it also lead to higher ozone? Didn't those 11 counties just get permission to add more shit to the air?
My brain hurts.