Court Agrees With KRC That VET Program Was Unlawfully Ended; Grants Permanent Injunction Requiring Restart of VET Program Posted: January 30, 2004
On January 29, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn issued a 22-page Memorandum Opinion and Order in the suit by KRC and Sarah Lynn Cunningham challenging a state law that required the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District to terminate the vehicle emission program for Jefferson County in November, 2003. In his Opinion, Judge Heyburn concluded that the Kentucky General Assembly overstepped its power in ordering closure of the VET program, that the District violated the Clean Air Act by closing the program, and determined that an affirmative injunction restarting the VET program was justified. Judge Heyburn ordered the District to submit by March 1 a plan for restarting the program and intends to issue a specific order on when the program must be reinstated after April 1. The Court's opinion should send a clear message to the Kentucky House that SJR3, which is pending before the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee after narrowly passing the Senate, will be likewise found to impermissibly conflict with federal law in its mandate to the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to close the northern Kentucky vehicle emissions program by November 2004.