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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Approves Redesignation of the Kentucky Portion of the Louisville Area Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Standard

08/20/2018
Contact Information: 
Jason McDonald (mcdonald.jason@epa.gov)
404-562-9203, 404-562-8400

ATLANTA (August 20, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is taking final action to approve the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s request to redesignate the Kentucky portion of the Louisville Area from unclassifiable to attainment/unclassifiable for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) standard.

"This redesignation reflects the healthier air residents in the Louisville metropolitan area now enjoy as a result of a successful collaborative effort by EPA, the city of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky," said EPA Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn.

For over 20 years, the Kentucky Division for Air Quality (KDAQ) has worked collaboratively with EPA and other stakeholders to develop strategies for achieving and maintaining compliance with PM2.5 standards across the state. The Louisville Area that is being redesignated is comprised of the entirety of Jefferson County and a portion of Bullitt County in Kentucky.

“The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet appreciates EPA’s efforts to evaluate quality-assured ambient air monitoring data and determine that Jefferson County and a portion of Bullitt County meet the national ambient air quality standard for the 2012 PM2.5 standard. Air quality in Kentucky continues to improve, and EPA’s action reaffirms our commitment to provide a healthy environment for the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Sean Alteri, Director, Kentucky Division for Air Quality.

“Our air is getting cleaner, and it’s because our entire community – residents, businesses, activists, educators, and fellow government agencies – worked together to reach this milestone,” said Keith Talley Sr., director of the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District. “The hard work of controlling air pollution will never end, but we gladly pause for this moment of celebration.”

Particulate matter is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of several components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter can bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs and some may even enter the circulatory system. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects.

For more information on the Kentucky Portion of the Louisville Area final 2012 Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) redesignation, visit docket number EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0390 at www.regulations.gov.

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