Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
EPA agrees Christian County now meets new ozone standard
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2005) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to approve Kentucky’s request to remove Christian County from the list of areas not meeting the 8-hour ozone standard for air quality, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today.
EPA published its decision today in the Federal Register. The action is scheduled to become final on Nov. 21, 2005. It would make Christian County the first area in the nation to be redesignated as attaining the federal 8-Hour Ozone Standard for air quality. Kentucky made the request in March 2005.
Christian County was designated in June 2004 as not attaining a new and more stringent federal ozone standard. The action was based on air monitoring data for 2001 to 2003. At the end of the 2004 monitoring season, it became evident that air quality in the area had improved to the point that Christian County was now meeting the new ozone standard. The Division for Air Quality in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet then petitioned EPA for a change of designation.
"This is good news for Kentucky," Governor Fletcher said. "Clean air is fundamental to a healthy environment, which in turn is fundamental to good public health, to economic development and to our quality of life."
John Lyons, director of the Division for Air Quality, said Kentucky was the first state in the nation to request redesignation of an area to attainment for the new 8-hour standard.
"Agency staff worked closely with EPA, Region 4, to develop the request, which allowed EPA to take timely action on Kentucky’s request," Lyons said.
Kentucky documented local and regional emission reductions that had led to improved air quality in the area. Those improvements continue despite exceptionally dry conditions and high temperatures normally associated with ozone formation. Christian County has recorded only one exceedance of the 8-Hour Standard this year.