Panel to Discuss Louisville’s Air Pollution Problems, as Well as Successes in Pollution Control

by Erica Peterson on November 7, 2011

So far this year, Louisville has had a record number of Air Quality Alert days, when levels of ozone were dangerously high. But in recent years, the city has made progress in controlling air pollution. The state of Louisville’s air and upcoming regulations will be the subject of a panel discussion today.

The panel will include Robert Ehrler, an environmental attorney for Louisville Gas and Electric, and Sarah Lynn Cunningham, an environmental engineer and director of the Louisville Climate Action Network.

Reggie Van Stockum is the panel’s moderator and an environmental lawyer in Louisville.

“Louisville has had significant environmental air pollution issues identified as soon as we started focusing on the deleterious effects of uncontrolled air emissions,” he said.

Van Stockum says Louisville is a center of both air pollution issues and air pollution control. The city’s Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program—or STAR—was a milestone, he says. But there’s still work to be done to overcome major air pollution sources, like the industries clustered in Rubbertown and the pollution generated by the multiple highways running through town.

The panel will also discuss upcoming federal pollution rules for power plants.

“But that’s an air toxics question and it’s really a burning question right now, nationally because utilities are responsible for so much of the emissions of those chemicals because of the use of coal,” Van Stockum said.

The “Air Quality Alert” Panel discussion is today from 11:30 to 1:30 at the Filson Historical Society. It’s part of the Festival of Faiths.

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