PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602 Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845
Air Pollution District Ordered To Pay $130,000 In Fines And Attorney Fees For Illegal Shutdown of Vehicle Testing Program Posted: June 15, 2004
In a Memorandum and Order entered on June 10, 2004, U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn ordered, as a remedy for the Metro Louisville Air Pollution Control District's "clear violation of federal law" in ending the Louisville vehicle testing program without first receiving EPA approval, that the District pay a fine of $100,000 to the Court, to be paid to KRC for "use in its environmental projects that are consistent with the Clean Air Act and which enhance public health or the environment of this community." The Court also ordered the District to pay the attorney's fees to the Plaintiffs.
KRC had sought an order requiring the District to fund reduced transit fares for the summer of 2004, to offset the additional 4 tons of ozone-creating pollutants in the summer air each day this year because of the Abramson Administration's action in shutting down the program. While the fine recognizes the violation of law by the District and the published decision in Kentucky Resources Council v. US EPA, 304 F.Supp.920 (W.D.Ky 2004) has already had an impact on other communities and states where legislatures might have considered unlawfully shutting down vehicle testing programs without prior EPA approval, KRC is disappointed that we were unable to secure an Order resulting in reductions during this ozone season to compensate for the damage caused by unlawfully shutting down the program.
KRC will continue to press EPA to demand real, contemporaneous, surplus and enforceable reductions from the District to offset the lost emissions reductions.
The District has not yet indicated whether it intends to appeal the Court's decision.