Congressman Fred Upton is hailing a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to remove Berrien County from its list of non-attainment areas for air quality. A geographic area that meets or does better than the EPA’s primary air quality standard is called an attainment area, while an area that does worse than the standard is considered a non-attainment area. Upton tells WSJM News Berrien County has fallen into that second category for a long time, much to his frustration.
“Berrien County for years has been a non-attainment area because of ozone that comes from Chicago and Milwaukee, and I have made the point over the years that you could remove all human activity from many of our western Michigan counties, and we still would be in non-attainment because of what happens in Chicago and Milwaukee,” Upton said.
Upton says now that Berrien will be an attainment area, businesses looking to locate or expand here will face fewer hurdles. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler was in St. Joseph this week, and Upton shared the news with us after meeting with him. He says the announcement will be made official in a few weeks.