KRC has received notice that the state Division for Air Quality has withdrawn its proposed air toxics program regulations. The Cabinet's withdrawal of the regulations means that the existing regulation, 401 KAR 63:020, will remain in place pending the proposal by the Cabinet of new air toxics regulations.
The regulations had been criticized both by regulated industries and environmental organizations. KRC had recommended withdrawal of the regulatory proposal because it was underprotective of public health and the environment in many areas, including:
and other technical and policy concerns.
The final regulations that were filed with the Legislative Research Commission both failed to respond adequately to KRC's concerns and failed to make meaningful improvements, and actually further weakened the proposed program by allowing, as a defense to the application of controls through the safety net, consideration of EPA's residual risk standards. EPA residual risk evaluations for coke oven emissions allow risk levels 300 times the target risks deemed appropriate in Kentucky, and for cancer-causing benzene, 180 times Kentucky's target goals.
KRC supports withdrawal of the regulations, and further expects that the Division for Air Quality will begin again to properly administer the existing air toxics standard of 401 KAR 63:020 a standard that the current administration has failed to properly apply in order to set standards sufficient to protect public health and the environment.