Environment
11:54 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Air Pollution District Holds Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to Regulations

Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District is moving forward with several changes to regulations, including fee increases for some permits. The district’s board held a hearing yesterday to get public comment on the proposed changes.

Only two people spoke at the hearing: Dennis Conniff, representing Greater Louisville Inc.’s air toxics task force, and Greg Brotzke, representing the Kentucky Paint Council. Brotzke says the Paint Council supports the district’s efforts to streamline permitting regulations, but he says companies are worried the district will eventually rely solely on industry to fund its operations.

“As we have said throughout the process, part of the district’s funding should always come from Louisville Metro’s general fund,” he said. “All parties agree in principle that this should be the case but in the current economic climate, we’re concerned that the easy path may be to simply shift more of the burden to the industrial community. Such a path will make it increasingly difficult to manufacture in Louisville Metro.”

Air Pollution Control District spokesman Tom Nord says the agency has no intention of getting off the general fund. A good portion of Louisville’s air pollution comes from vehicles, and industry shouldn’t have to pay for programs that regulate and reduce pollution from those sources.

Nord says technology has changed, and it’s time for the district’s regulations to evolve.

“For the most part, it’s sort of a modernizing and right-sizing of our program,” he said. “APCD does a lot of things. We are the primary regulatory body—the only regulatory body, really—for [air] pollution in Louisville. We have a lot of industry here, we have a lot of complicated industry, we have a lot of different kinds of industry. This is an attempt to try to make our regulations make sense for everybody involved.”

The Louisville Air Pollution Control Board plans to vote on the regulation changes at its next meeting, April 17.