Louisville, KY Workgroup on Air Pollution Emission Reductions Publishes Final Report

Written August 13, 2020

Categories: First to Know

The Multipollutant Stakeholder Group (MPSG), formed by the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (APCD), released its final report on Air Pollution in Louisville, KY. This report “captures the process through which the MPSG convened and the results of its efforts, but also should serve as a resource for our community that provides an overview of air quality here in Louisville”.

Background & PRINTING United Alliance’s Contributions

PRINTING United Alliance has been working with the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District’s (APCD) Multipollutant Stakeholder Group since its conception. As background, the Multipollutant Stakeholder Group (MPSG) is a community stakeholder group of business officials from key sectors, community leaders, and relevant government, academia, and health representatives that meets and develops strategies to reduce air pollution in Louisville. This group discusses current air pollution challenges and makes recommendations for next steps to improve local air quality and reduce health impacts from air pollution.

The goals of the MPSG were as follows:
  1. Develop recommendations to reduce emissions of ozone precursors in order to come into attainment of the 2015 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), with a focus on strategies that may achieve cobenefits of air toxics and fine particulate reductions.
  2. Identify quantifiable emission reduction strategies – voluntary and regulatory – from the following source sectors: Point, Area, Mobile.
  3. Identify voluntary programs and community initiatives to reduce emissions and exposure in order to reduce health risks.
  4. Recommend programs, collaborations, etc. that will raise awareness of air quality impacts of local activities and the health impacts associated with them.

To accomplish these goals, the MPSG was divided into a series of subcommittees focusing on Point Sources (e.g., large emitters), Area Sources (e.g., small emitters), Mobile Sources (e.g., cars, trucks, other vehicles), and Health, and Education and Outreach.

PRINTING United Alliance participated in the Point Source, Area Source, and Education and Outreach Committees since most of the activity pertaining to printing was included in the Area Source Committee.

A total of seven different recommendations were developed by the Committee, some of which contained sub-recommendations or sector-specific examples that addressed printing operations. This is because printing or graphic arts was identified as the third largest area sources of VOC emissions in the District.

However, the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District relied upon EPA’s emission factor for graphic arts, which grossly overstates the VOC emissions from the printing industry. Based on an EPA approved survey conducted in the Salt Lake City, UT area, the overstatement could be as high as 7-8 orders of magnitude greater than what is occurring. In addition, the shift toward more digital technologies is also causing additional emission reductions.

Summary of Final Report 

Area Source Committee Recommendations Specific to Printing

• Have the APCD develop a more accurate area source emission inventory so that there is a better understanding of the emissions being released from small businesses.
• Have the APCD encourage work practice changes/upgrades for equipment, technology, chemicals, and input materials at area sources.
• The APCD staff should conduct outreach and educational activities to inform various sectors of their options.
         • If these changes have financial constraints, the outreach should include identifying funding opportunities that will facilitate the adoption of new technologies and/or equipment.
• Louisville Metro Government should encourage energy efficiency projects and investments in the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors through outreach to facilities managers, building owners, and homeowners. When possible, funding opportunities and other financial incentives should be identified.
• The APCD should promote better practices with industrial usage of solvents and VOC containing products.

Point Source Committee Recommendations Specific to Printing 

• The District should consider adding regulations for Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs) for source sectors in the District covered by a CTG, but not already covered by District regulations, especially those adopted or updated by U.S. EPA since 2006.

If the District fails to meet the ozone standard for 2020, they will be reclassified to the next highest level of ozone nonattainment, which is Moderate. If this were to occur, then according to the Clean Air Act, the CTGs that have not been adopted will be required to be adopted. 

Outreach and Education Committee Recommendations Specific to Printing 

• Same as one of the recommendations that was incorporated by the Area and Point Source, which was to develop materials for businesses to understand actions they can take to reduce emissions during Ozone Action Days.
• The other recommendations pertained mostly to informing citizens about air quality, health impacts, and steps they can take to reduce emissions.

We will keep you updated on the progress and if you have any questions, email the Government Affairs Department at govtaffairs@sgia.org.