State Seeking New Air Quality Designation for Jefferson County

by Erica Peterson on December 26, 2011

Kentucky air regulators are revising a request to the federal government asking them to designate the Louisville area as in attainment for air quality standards.

According to the national air quality standards, counties have to meet a certain threshold for fine particle pollution. Jefferson County didn’t meet that standard in 2004, but state regulators have collected data to show the area is now in attainment.

John Gowins with the Division of Air Quality says the county needs to prove it’s in attainment, or the government can levy special restrictions on industry.

“Well, typically when an area is designated non-attainment for a National Ambient Air Quality Standard, there are programs that require more restrictive permitting for any facility that wants to come into the area,” he said.

The state had scheduled a public hearing on the matter last week, but the EPA asked to see pollution data from vehicles, as well. Gowins says including that information shouldn’t affect the county’s designation.

A new public hearing is scheduled for February 3.

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