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Great Lakes Article:

Ozone air-pollution standards advance
State designated 10 lakeshore counties as ‘nonattainment’ areas
By Paul Brinkmann
Green Bay Press-Gazette
Published March 16th, 2005

The process is moving ahead to develop new air-pollution rules for 10 Wisconsin lakeshore counties with ozone problems — including Door and Kewaunee counties.

The state Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday it was designating the same 10 counties as “nonattainment” areas as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did last year under a new “eight-hour” ozone standard.

According to the EPA Web site, areas where air pollution levels persistently exceed the national air quality standards may receive this designation.

The announcement was widely expected and the state said it had little choice but to follow the federal example.

“It was a done deal,” said Lloyd Eagan, DNR air management director. “It’s the same as the federal list, but we had to develop our own rule for Wisconsin. The designation is just a bureaucratic process we have to go through.”

Eagan emphasized that the real impact of the designations is still being decided. The state is working with other Great Lakes states to develop a strategy for lowering ozone pollution across the region.

For example, the state is trying to decide whether emission testing and reformulated gasoline might be needed in certain regions, or if certain kinds of industry should be restricted near the shore.

Ozone is summer smog that forms mostly over the lake from air pollution released from automobiles and industry. Door and Kewaunee aren’t considered big sources, but they get the drift from big cities to the south.

Eagan is part of the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium, which also includes officials from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. They meet regularly, usually in Chicago, to strategize air pollution solutions.

The last meeting of the group, called a Regional Air Quality Workshop, was held March 8 and 9 at the O’Hare International Center auditorium in Rosemont, Ill.

In related news, Manitowoc County might soon escape the “non-attainment” classification because of three years with good air monitoring data.

A hearing on Manitowoc County’s status is set for 1 p.m., March 29, at the Manitowoc Public Library, 707 Quay St., in Manitowoc.

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