40-Year-Old Air Pollution Standard Is Tightened

Federal air pollution standards are being tightened once again.  And Louisville will likely not be in compliance when they’re implemented.

Image credit: U.S. EPA

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revised the national standards for sulfur dioxide pollution.  Sulfur dioxide can aggravate lung problems and trigger asthma attacks.  The agency found that, based on new science, implementing a “one-hour” standard, rather than measuring annual levels in the atmosphere, is better for public health.  Louisville Air Pollution Control District spokesman Matt Stull explains:

“Most of the health concerns with sulfur dioxide are due to that short term exposure.”

Stull says that about 95% of this region’s sulfur dioxide pollution comes from LG&E’s two power plants.  He says the city meets current sulfur dioxide standards but will probably not meet the tighter ones when implemented a year from now.

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