It all started when...
The West Michigan Clean Air Coalition was formed in 1995 in order to present a unified voice for cleaner air, regardless of individual reasons for doing so. It was agreed, there were many good reasons to promote cleaner air in West Michigan. Some groups were concerned about the health effects of ozone pollution, while others were hoping that cleaner air would result in the lifting of federal reporting requirements or the avoidance of costly sanctions.
Due to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, West Michigan was faced with a number of mandatory pollution control measures. The most ominous was a costly vehicle inspection/maintenance program that was delayed by Governor Engler just before it was to be implemented. Other measures included restrictions on industrial expansion and new construction. The hope was that voluntary emissions reduction activities could be used in place of the mandates, effectively entrusting the situation to the local communities.
While scientific studies at the time showed (and to this day, continue to show) that the residents of West Michigan were primarily affected by ozone transported from outside West Michigan, it was felt that a good faith effort to reduce any amounts of locally produced ozone would be beneficial and would show a common unity to help reduce emissions.
To this end, the goal of the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition through its former Ozone Action! Program, now known as the Clean Air Action Program, was designed to educate the public about ozone problems and help reduce West Michigan ground-level ozone through voluntary emission reduction activities. Since 1995, the Coalition has been bringing the public and business, education, government, and non-profit groups together to achieve the common goal of cleaner air.