Kentucky Resources Council, PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602 Phone [502] 875-2428

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PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602  Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845

KRC Asks Senators To Oppose Senate Bill 39  Posted: February 26, 2006

SB 39 is intended to prevent continued implementation of the STAR air toxics program adopted by the Metro Louisville Air Pollution Control District and endorsed by the Metro Council. KRC opposes the bill for these reasons:

* Hazardous air pollution is an existing cost now being paid for by the public health, particularly for those living downwind of Rubbertown. Air toxics should be controlled at the source and the costs incorporated into the product as a cost of doing business.

* Louisville’s decision to adopt an air toxics program in order to protect public health should be respected. Louisville has had a local air pollution agency for 61 years and has used its power to exceed federal and state standards sparingly. Louisville should be allowed to maintain the tools it needs to achieve and maintain healthy air.

* The suggestion that a “level playing field” is needed because increased environmental protection measures will drive away business is a myth. Decades of economic research show that environmental protection measures do NOT hurt economic growth and development. Health and safety regulations are far more often the scapegoats, than the causes, of industrial retrenchment decisions.

* STAR will not cause a loss of the Ford plants, according to a Ford spokeswoman. KRC appreciates the fears of the Ford workforce concerning both the future of the two plants. But the current situation has been brought on by Ford’s significant overcapacity, by competition from newer, smaller companies that do not have the same fixed and legacy social costs (particularly health care), and by Ford’s loss of market share. STAR didn’t cause Ford North America’s problems, and killing STAR won’t cure them. The STAR program has been designed with safety valves to avoid severe economic impacts, and Metro Louisville’s preliminary review indicates a minimal impact on Ford from the new STAR program.

* Metro Louisville has indicated its willingness to work with Ford and other smokestack industries in every way to create tax and other incentives exist to aid in job retention, pollution control improvements and plant modernization. But those incentives don’t include continued daily exposure of the metro population to unhealthy levels of air toxics – that is a concession no company and no legislative body has a right to demand of a local government.

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