Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District is taking a look at Louisville’s rising temperature. In a meeting today, board members discussed the city’s declining tree cover and how a lack of protective legislation is contributing to the problem.
Louisville recently placed first on a list of fifty cities suffering from rising temperatures. Georgia Tech University Professor Brian Stone described the city as the “climate change center of the United States.”
APCD spokesman Tom Nord said severe weather ands general neglect over the past few years has destroyed much of Louisville’s plant life that helps regulate temperature raising greenhouse gases.
“Our tree canopy right now is estimated to be about 27%,” he said. “Places like Nashville and Atlanta, they’re more like up around 50% and you wouldn’t expect that. You wouldn’t expect that [of] more bigger sprawling urban areas, but they are and I think we’ve become very complacent about this stuff in Louisville.”
Nord also said that other cities prevent these problems with “Zero-Net Loss” laws that regulate the tree population of a city.
“A lot of cities have put in place very strict regulations regarding if a developer cuts down a tree he or she has to replace that tree,” he said. “We don’t have that here in Louisville.”
Louisville Metro Government’s recently-formed Tree Advisory Committee plans to propose a similar law to Mayor Greg Fischer.