Skip to comments.Smog Dumper Illinois Has a Conniption After EPA’s Wisconsin Ruling
Posted on 05/09/2018 7:17:31 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. For years, Chicago, Northwest Indiana and parts south and north have been sending their pollution to Wisconsin, particularly southeast Wisconsin.
Wisconsin for decades has argued that it is not the main cause of the smog problem. Science backs that up.
The Badger State and its economy have long had to pay for somebody else's smog, through draconian U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air pollution standards that have unfairly put clean Wisconsin on the dirty air list.
Last week, the Trump administrations EPA reversed course and took much of southeast Wisconsin off the non-attainment list of counties not meeting more stringent ozone standards adopted during the Obama administration.
Racine County, too, was removed from the list, sending the left and many in the mainstream media into environmental paroxysms.
A Big factory gets to pollute, and you get to wheeze, proclaimed a Chicago Sun Times editorial decrying the EPAs decision to exempt Racine County and thereby the massive Foxconn economic development project from stricter clean air standards.
The editorial took special aim at EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt, a Trump administration head that the newspaper views as a fossil fuel fat cat defender.
The Chicago Tribune went after Pruitt, too, in a news story.
EPA chief Pruitt overrules staff, gives Wisconsins Walker, Foxconn big break on smog, screamed the headline of a Tribune article last week.
The piece, however, was written by the same reporter who less than a year earlier penned a story about Wisconsin being held captive by invading smog from its neighbors to the south and east.
In the Aug. 4 story, Smog follows Chicagoans on vacation to Wisconsin, Michigan, reporter Michael Hawthorne notes an extensive federal research project that is looking at why Lake Michigan shoreline communities with relatively little traffic and few, if any big polluters have higher ozone levels.
Hawthorne concedes some of the smog in Chicago comes from St. Louis, and Milwaukees problems can be blamed in part on Chicago and other upwind cities.
Now, in an audacious legal move, highly partisan Democrat Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan plans to sue the EPA for daring to remove portions of southeast Wisconsin from the stricter air quality regs.
Despite its name, the Environmental Protection Agency now operates with total disregard for the quality of our air and water, and in this case, the U.S. EPA is putting the companys profit ahead of our natural resources and the publics health, Madigan wrote in a press release. I will file a lawsuit to protect the environment and people from the consequences of this unsupported decision.
Wisconsinites may rightly ask where Ms. Madigan has been all these years as Chicago, Rockford and other Illinois manufacturing centers spewed their smog on the Badger States verdant valleys and small towns.
Lucas Vebber, legal counsel and director of Environmental and Energy Policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, said the science is pretty well established.
Wisconsin for decades has been arguing that the ozone we have here in Wisconsin is not the result of sources in Wisconsin but, rather, its coming into Wisconsin from other sources in other states, and even countries, Vebber said.
In 2016, Gov. Scott Walker submitted a plan to the federal government asking that all of Wisconsin be deemed as in attainment of the Obama-era ozone standards. That regulation lowered the acceptable amount of ambient ozone in the air from 75 parts per billion to 70 ppb.
As Hawthorne noted last year, NASA satellite data vividly show improvements in air quality during the past decade, thanks in large part to a sharp drop in nitrogen oxide, a core precursor of smog. Wisconsins ozone levels have greatly improved over the period, but eastern portions of the state remain subject to invasive pollutants from other states and countries.
Local officials in Wisconsin and Michigan hope the new research helps resolve long-running battles with the EPA and frees their communities from a national list of communities with dirty air, according to the Tribune story.
The regs also would hurt any number of manufacturers in southeast Wisconsin including Foxconn, while delivering questionable benefit to air quality.
Areas deemed to be in non-attainment face hefty federal fees and restrictions. The stiffer regulations would indeed hinder Racine Countys massive Foxconn development, a project pegged to create tens of thousands of direct and ancillary jobs. The regs also would hurt any number of manufacturers in southeast Wisconsin, while delivering questionable benefit to air quality.
What the EPA said was, Hey, we recognize that this is not a problem that these Wisconsin inland sources are causing so when we designate an area as non-attainment we are going to stick to the areas that actually have heightened ozone, Vebber told MacIver News Service recently on the Dan Conry Show, on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA. And thats a win for everyone who is outside of this area who will not be subject to these draconian federal regulations, which would be incredibly expensive and make it very difficult to grow or expand a facility here.
The EPAs decision last week designates the northeast corner of Milwaukee, the Ozauakee County shoreline, as well as part of Sheboygan County as not within the air quality standards. A portion of Kenosha County is included.
But to the anti-business, environmental crowd, the EPA decision is all about Foxconn. Vebber asserts politics is driving a liberal misinformation campaign aimed at taking out Walker at the polls in November.
Unfortunately what weve seen is those anti-business activists, those folks simply trying to make Foxconn a political issue They are going on the attack on what they think is a political issue they can sell folks on and weve seen basically just wholesale ignoring of the truth Vebber said.
Racine County recorded average ozone levels of 74 parts per billion from 2015 through 2017, according to Milwaukees BizTimes. Thats within the previous air quality limits but above the Obama administrations stricter and, critics say, unnecessary 70 ppb standard. Non-attainment would require Foxconn to install costlier pollution control equipment.
Foxconn has been granted four air permits, allowing the technology manufacturer to emit no more than 172 tons of nitrogen oxide per year, when the massive plant is fully operational, according to the state Department of Natural Resources Analysis and Preliminary Determination document thats part of the permit file.
While Vebber acknowledges that the tonnage is a big number, he said the emissions would pale in comparison to the 2,200-plus tons produced by the We Energies coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. As that plant closes down this year, Vebber said Southeast Wisconsin will see annual net decreases of more than 2,000 tons of nitrogen oxygen, meaning a net decrease of smog.
Even if we shut down every industry weve got, we would still have these (smog) problems, said Sheboygan Mayor Mike Vandersteen.
In reporting last year on the plants planned closure, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that shutting down the facility means less air pollution and a smaller carbon footprint for the states largest utility holding company and should help southeastern Wisconsin address longstanding ozone air emission problems.
Now, many of these same news outlets are pushing a narrative that the fix is in, that the EPAs change on southeast Wisconsin air quality standards is about giving a pass to a titan tech company and a once-in-a-generation development deal at the expense of Wisconsinites health. They have conveniently omitted the nagging facts of other peoples smog and improving air quality at source points.
Look no further than Sheboygan, a city that was told it violated the federal smog standard 25 days between 2013 and 2015 more than any other city in the Midwest, according to the Chicago Tribune. But monitoring data shows what Sheboygan knows: pollution pushing up Lake Michigan from Chicago and elsewhere is the real culprit.
Weve done our part, but its unfair to make our employers jump through hoops when our neighbors in surrounding counties dont have to do a thing, Sheboygan Mayor Mike Vandersteen told the Tribune last year. Even if we shut down every industry weve got, we would still have these (smog) problems.
But, we're getting there! MAGA! :)
Matt Kittle subs on our morning Conservative AM radio channel; he's always a great host. He knows his stuff.
Rush should tag him, LOL!
“As Hawthorne noted last year, NASA satellite data ‘vividly show improvements in air quality during the past decade,’ thanks in large part to a sharp drop in nitrogen oxide, a core precursor of smog. Wisconsins ozone levels have greatly improved over the period, but eastern portions of the state remain subject to invasive pollutants from other states and countries.”
You fight pollution at its source, not at its destination................
Aren't the prevailing winds in Wisc.from the SW to the NW and hence not from CHI nor NW Ind.?
I’d be more upset about the Somalis dumped in Wisconsin.
Well, the FIRST step was getting everyone to admit WHERE the source of the pollution is...and it’s not WI doing the polluting. :)
Compare this to how North American has been made to pay (and dearly!) for all of the Third World polluters still burning wood, coal, unrefined fossil fuels and animal dung and dumping waste into their waterways and the ocean.
China is the worst polluter, followed by the EU. They need to clean up their acts - and not at my expense.
Wonder if it has something to do with the massive body of water we like to call, ‘Lake Michigan’?
The report says St. Louis factors in there, too.
The point BEING is that Wisconsin has been cleared of being a massive polluter and we can now go about our business.
A lot of this stems from the Enviros and the Dems not wanting Foxxcon to build in Racine. You wouldn’t believe the struggle our Governor has had getting a big factory to come here and create tens of thousands of JOBS.
The Unionista Leftists managed to run General Motors into the ground in Janesville. The property has been purchased and demo on the buildings has begun.
Of course, there’s NO pollution associated with anything the Unions touch! *SMIRK* And the Unions are mad because Foxxcon is going to be a HUGE factory-like employer that they can’t get their greedy mitts on to funnel CASH back to the DNC. :)
Low pressure air masses do pass over and cause what I call “swirlies” that bring water off 5 large bodies of water to the lands west of said water.
Some Steel Mill and Urban Utopia pollution likely comes along.
As that plant closes down this year, Vebber said Southeast Wisconsin will see annual net decreases of more than 2,000 tons of nitrogen oxygen, meaning a net decrease of smog.
And Wisconsinites will see a commensurate increase in electric rates to please the wackos.
American Motors didn't do too well there (SE Wisc.) in the long run either.
Yes but that would be admitting that the air pollution is no longer mostly American in origin - most of the airborne pollutants come from China ...
And this is why we need a Federal environment laws and a Federal EPA. It needs to be brought under checks and balances.
But one state’s pollution can be another state’s problem.
The only vehicles (trucks and farm equipment) Beau has had problems with through the years have been the GM brand.
So, maybe poor quality was part of it, LOL!
So, a reason they hate the man is revealed.
He is a slayer of sacred cows
You betcha! The Union Goons just about dismantled our State Capital building (hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the building and the grounds) when Title 10 became law, which allowed people FORCED to be part of a union for employment to decide. We also became a Right To Work state under Governor Walker. He’s had death threats, had his kids, wife and parents threatened. They’re REAL Sweethearts.
Union membership plummeted, people kept their jobs and had more cash in pocket versus it being funneled to the DNC.
And, the world hasn’t ended! :)
Among PDJT’s accomplishments is the appointment of Scott Pruitt to the EPA.
To the Left, the EPA was their secular Vatican, the holiest of holy social justice and immune from science.
To them, to have Pruitt head up the EPA is like Attila the Hun as Pope.
Love it every day.
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