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MWMA Environmental Committee Meets with EPA on Clean Air Developments

December 4, 2000

The MWMA Environmental Committee, led by Sarah Lile, Environmental Commissioner for the City of Detroit and Co-Chair of the Committee, met with Jacob Moss of EPA's Air Office, who briefed the committee on the latest clean air developments including Air Toxic Emission Reductions, the Urban Air Toxics Strategy, State Implementation Plans, and Acid Rain.

Mr. Moss also outlined the November 7 Supreme Court hearing between EPA and the American Trucking Association. The issue before the Court is to decide whether the Clean Air Act requires EPA to ignore all factors except health effects relating to pollutants in the air, when setting nation-wide standards. The Supreme Court is expected to issue its opinion by July 2001.

The Committee urged Mr. Moss and the rest of EPA to consider the repercussions of making decisions without considering other natural resources and the implications these decisions have at the local level. A case in point was the fuel additive, MTBE, which does have air benefits, but unfortunately can also contaminate the water supply. The committee expressed frustration at trying to do the right thing but not always knowing what that may include. Mr. Moss encouraged the group to formalize their comments and concerns and submit them to EPA where they will be considered and given a response. The committee will be meeting again at the MWMA Annual Conference to be held from March 5-7, 2001, in Washington, DC.

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