Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone (502) 875-2845 fax
March 20, 2003
Oral Comments Presented To the Jefferson County
Air Pollution Control District Concerning Recommended
Emission Reduction Measures for 2003 Ozone Season
March 19, 2003 (Revised)
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed strategy for reducing precursors of ground-level ozone for Jefferson County.
We are, to use the terminology of the NCAA watchers, "on the bubble" between marginal and moderate non-attainment for ozone, and this is a key year. We are so close to the design values being considered by EPA that small reductions in emissions of ozone precursors during the 2003 ozone season can make a big difference in our regulatory status.
There are those in industry whose goal is to do little or nothing, in order to see what EPA will mandate, since to delay allows them to defer expenses associated with further reductions in precursor pollutants.
I must confess that it is tempting to allow the District to continue down the path of "voluntary" measures of questionable efficacy, since I have seen little real improvement in emission controls come from industrial sources except in response to a mandate for such reductions.
But we do not have the luxury to wait until further reductions are mandated. The health of our community's residents and our economy cannot afford the cost of inaction or ineffective "voluntary" measures.
It is important that we remember the goal of the Clean Air Act. The law does not seek to attain marginally healthy air – instead the goal is continued reduction of emissions of pollutants in order to protect public health with a margin of safety. There is no known physiologically therapeutic or beneficial level of ozone exposure, and it is the continued responsibility of all sectors – mobile, stationary and area, to ratchet down emissions in order to improve air quality.
Concerning the proposal for a 2% mandated reduction from major sources, it is unreasonable for Greater Louisville Inc. and major industry members of GLI to expect that they will be immune from any enforceable reductions, particularly so since GLI's endorsement of the end of the vehicle emissions testing program in Jefferson County will worsen the summer air quality picture this summer as more vehicle become noncompliant as the owners anticipate the program end this October.
Industry complains that in order to effect 3% reductions, modifications to Title V permits will be required, and that great costs will be incurred. In truth, there are a wide range of options available between mandated stack reductions and the industry-preferred voluntary program. The District can, and should, impose a 3% reduction plan requirement on each facility, which can be met through a range of quantifiable, enforceable measures including installation or improvement of capture efficiency of equipment; scheduling of routine maintenance or holidays; replacement of VOC-based solvents or paints; improvements in maintenance of VOC filters and other control equipment; and better controls on fugitive emissions related to raw material and product loading and transfer, among others. The plan can be wrapped around to supplement Title V obligations instead of requiring modification of existing permits.
It is inappropriate, in seeking reductions, to opt for those measures that will game reductions rather than result in durable reductions. Flexibility must not become so loose as to result in little or no progress during ozone season. For that reason KRC does not support a multiplier for on- v. off-season reductions, since off-season reductions do not assist in achieving ozone-season air quality improvements. A speciation of and inclusion of a multiplier for ozone season reductions of more complex VOCs and VOCs that are air toxics, is appropriate.
Regarding the use of in-lieu fees, KRC is concerned first that an assertion that reductions by the facility cannot be achieved must be verified independently (and with some higher degree of reliability and documentation than accepting at face value the self-serving responses to questions by the Board as to whether the companies are "doing all they can.") Further, in assessing an in-lieu fee, proper valuation of that fee is problematic.
KRC supports real, durable, measurable, verifiable, and cost-effective measures to reduce precursor pollutants. The Board will do a great disservice to the public if it fails to couple the array of incentives and initiatives being proposed for area and mobile sectors, with a flexible, mandatory, 3% reduction from major industrial sources of ozone precursors.