The health of Wayne County residents is at stake. Communities in close proximity to the River Rouge and Trenton Channel Coal Plants have been deemed the “Epicenter of the State’s Asthma Burden.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels in this area exceed safe levels for human health and is requiring the State to submit a plan to remedy the situation.
In response, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is holding hearings for permits that have been filed by DTE. These permits will become part of the State’s plan. It is important that the permits address and cure the EPA findings.
We need your voice to help us call on the MDEQ to hold polluters accountable. We need clean air!
RAISE YOUR VOICE
STAND WITH US
SO2 PERMIT HEARING RIVER ROUGE
Wednesday, MARCH 11 2015
6pm: Informational 7pm: Testimony
River Rouge City Hall
10600 W. Jefferson Avenue
Call Catherine Thomasson if you have questions: 503-819-1170
The hearing provides an opportunity to improve the health of Wayne County residents by demanding reductions in local air pollution. A large area of Wayne County has unhealthy air because of high levels of sulfur dioxide pollution. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for SO2 are important to protect our health. To address this problem, the State of Michigan must submit a plan to reduce SO2.
The River Rouge and Trenton Channel coal plants produce 80% of the SO2 in Wayne County. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is holding a hearing addressing the permits that will determine the level of sulfur dioxide pollution reductions from DTE’s River Rouge and Trenton Channel coal plants. These permits will become part of the State’s plan to reduce SO2 pollution in this area.
Unfortunately, the permits as currently written do not require DTE to reduce SO2 pollution sufficiently to meet the Clean Air standards and protect the health of residents.
- Exposure to sulfur dioxide in even very short time periods, harms our health, causing aggravation of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, existing heart disease, all leading to increased hospitalizations and premature deaths. It is also known to increase in pre-term births.
- Asthmatics, children and the elderly are especially at risk from SO2 pollution.
- There are 92 schools within the nonattainment area of Wayne County.
- It is MDEQ’s responsibility to protect communities by requiring DTE to reduce SO2 emissions to meet federal standards, by either installing best-performing pollution controls or by ceasing burning coal.
- The River Rouge coal plants are 60 years old and Trenton Channel number 9 is 46 years old and should be replaced by cleaner, more cost effective energy.
- DTE has one of the most coal-dependent energy portfolios of any utility in the country and Michigan residents are paying for it with our health and our pocketbooks.
- DTE’s River Rouge and Trenton Channel coal plants are contributing to climate change which is increasingly responsible for severe storms, water pollution, Lyme disease and heat-related health impacts.