Groups Oppose Air Quality Redesignation for Louisville

by Erica Peterson on February 3, 2012

Kentucky air regulators are asking the federal government to declare the Louisville in compliance with air quality standards. The Division for Air Quality held a public hearing on the application today.

According to the national air quality standards, counties have to meet a certain threshold for particle pollution that’s smaller than 2.5 micrograms per cubic meter. Jefferson County didn’t meet that standard in 2004, but state regulators have collected three years of data to show the area is now in attainment. They’re asking the Environmental Protection Agency to approve a new designation, and took public comments.

No one spoke directly in favor of the application, though several had questions. But representatives from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, River Fields and the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation, or CART, spoke against it.

“The bottom line is, Louisville is an unhealthy place to live,” David Coyte said. He’s with CART and spoke against the redesignation.

“Unless we really aggressively go after this rather than trying to excuse it, we’re not going to make any benefits,” he said. “We’re not going to make any progress here.”

Coyte and his attorney argued that superfine particles emitted from vehicles are escaping detection, and that the Air Pollution Control District’s monitors are too far away from major thoroughfares to accurately measure the pollution.

An APCD spokesman said in an email that the district’s monitors are placed according to EPA specifications.

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