By John Raffel
ALLEGAN – Allegan County Commission chairman James Storey has announced Allegan and neighboring shoreline counties were cited last week for ozone (smog) designation as temperatures soared into the high 80’s and 90’s.
“The designation from Michigan’s environmental agency, EGLE, called on residents to refrain from operating motorized machinery, including personal vehicles, to lessen the ozone contamination,” Storey said. “At the same time, counties in Wisconsin and Illinois were not cited by the respective environmental enforcers in those states. Last week’s declaration continues to raise questions about the reliability of data used to declare the now-routine ozone action days.
“The air monitoring station used by EGLE and the U.S. EPA to determine air quality is located in the extreme northwest corner of the county, though data collected there is used to proclaim air quality throughout the county, especially in the western half. EPA has announced it will be evaluating measures to combat the air readings in Allegan while apparently not addressing the bias rendered by the location of the monitor that may be capturing transient dirty air from across Lake Michigan.”
Storey notes a graphic shows the areas targeted last week for ozone action.
“Ironically, earlier in the month, EGLE lifted measures aimed at reducing air degradation in
Southwest Michigan, though it declared ozone action days last week for the same region,” he said.