Newman steps in as new Ontario Environment MinisterOntario MPP (Scarborough Southwest) Dan Newman was sworn in as Ontario's new Environment Minister, replacing Tony Clement, who will continue to serve as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, a post he was assigned last October. Since being elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1995, Newman has served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Native Affairs and to the Minister of Health.
His March 3 appointment came the same day as a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling upholding a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule requiring 23 states and the District of Columbia to reduce emissions of smog precursor pollutants. This week, Newman said he welcomed the decision, noting that Ontario had made presentations to the U.S. court in support of the EPA rule. "With more than half our smog originating from U.S. sources, we had a vital interest in the U.S. Court of Appeals decision," he stated.
The September 1998 EPA rule required the states to revise their State Implementation Plans (SIPs) to address the regional transport of ground-level ozone (a key smog precursor). In particular, the rule said SIPs must include measures to be in place by May 2003 to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions. The states and DC appealed the rule, and last February Ontario sought and was granted intervenor status in the case.