July 23, 2015: 50th Anniversary of Michigan's First Air Pollution Act

WHEREAS, On July 23, 1965, the Michigan Legislature passed the first Air Pollution Act to address widespread air pollution across the state and improve the health of the residents of Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division, is celebrating 50 years of protecting air quality in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, Prior to 1965, Michigan’s air quality was very different than it is today.  Air pollution emitted from sources as varied as factories, scrap yards, steel mills, power plants, waste incinerators, cement and asphalt plants, and burn barrels was uncontrolled.  Black smoke was often seen billowing from industrial stacks.  People burned unwanted cars, trash, and leaves, creating smoke and releasing numerous air pollutants;

WHEREAS,  Michigan has seen remarkable progress in air quality in the past 50 years; and,

WHEREAS,  Levels of sulfur dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, ozone, and other pollutants have significantly decreased over time, resulting in improvements in public health, especially for “sensitive populations” such as children, people with asthma or cardiopulmonary disease, and older adults; and,

WHEREAS, State and federal air requirements have become more rigorous over the years, leading to wise investments in air pollution control technology and changes in business practices to reduce air pollution; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s residents are helping to keep the air clean through carpooling, cutting personal energy waste, using energy efficient appliances, and recycling; and,

WHEREAS, During this anniversary year, we join all who have helped improve our air to provide a healthier place to live, work, and play, including the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, state and local public health departments, environmental and community health groups, and businesses across the state, to celebrate the successes and encourage future efforts to protect Michigan’s air quality;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim July 23, 2015 as the 50th Anniversary of Michigan’s First Air Pollution Act.