Michigan officials seek comment on air emission rule changes

Cropped Photo: Otodo / Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Officials are inviting comment on proposed changes to state air emission rules that supporters say would improve efficiency but opponents contend would weaken public health protections.

The plan calls for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to regulate 756 substances that pollute the air. The agency says that’s more than nearly any other state oversees.

But the Michigan Environmental Council says it’s a big drop from the roughly 1,200 air chemicals the DEQ now regulates, including some that are presumed toxic because their health effects are unknown.

The group says trimming the list would be especially risky for people living near large industrial facilities.

DEQ Air Quality Chief Lynn Fiedler says it would enable the agency to focus on the worst pollutants.

The public comment period runs through Dec. 18.

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