Last week, several members of the Air Pollution Control District Board expressed their support for the district’s staff in the wake of a state audit that found serious flaws with the city’s air monitoring program. But in a WFPL News special, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer didn’t echo that unequivocal support.
The audit released earlier this month revealed problems with the way the APCD analyzed air monitoring data for particulate matter, or soot. There were issues with employee training, as well as with the lab itself and the equipment. Possibly up to a decade of data was compromised.
“How could this have been going on for ten years?” Fischer asked during the live news special.
Fischer has already issued a request for proposals, and plans to hire an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive audit of the district. He said this will probably take awhile, but his priority is figuring out how such a serious error happened and what can be done to fix it.
“Some people have said to me, ‘you should be defending APCD!’” Fischer said. “Look, I was elected to represent the people. And if there’s a problem with a government function I’m going to go after that. Because that’s what our people should be concerned about. So the issues with APCD need to be fully transparent, fully explained, and then we need a solution moving forward.”
Fischer said he’s not sure what that solution will entail, but when asked if he still has confidence in the APCD staff, Fischer didn’t directly answer.
“It’s the whole system: processes, equipment, partners as well,” he said. “So until we understand all of that, which we need to do quickly, then we’ll take any type of action that needs to be taken.”