Chamber Backs Pollution Resolution

November 12, 2003
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has announced its support for a House Resolution scheduled to be introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland.

The resolution urges the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to articulate Michigan’s vulnerability to transport pollution.

“Unless transport pollution is recognized as a significant contributing factor for West Michigan’s potential non-attainment designation, our economy should brace for another hit next year,” said Mark Lemoine, vice president of public policy and governmental affairs.

“Holding us responsible for pollution being generated across Lake Michigan fails to adequately address the issue.”

The Grand Rapids chamber is actively pursuing this matter with state and federal officials, Lemoine said. The chamber feels that if the EPA standards are not amended to reflect transport pollution, West Michigan will further be viewed as an undesirable location for manufacturing businesses, impacting the ability for the region to attract and retain jobs.

Lemoine said the chamber believes that motorists may also suffer consequences by having to submit to annual vehicle emissions tests or pay higher prices at gas stations that could be required to install vapor recovery systems.

“We need to get at the root of the source,” said Lemoine. “If West Michigan’s manufacturing industry ceased to exist and all area residents were to walk to work, the new standards would still classify our air quality as being in non-attainment.”    

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