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ACA and Kentucky Paint Council comment on fee and permit regulations proposed by Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.

On January 24, ACA and its Kentucky Paint Council (KPC) submitted comments to the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (LMAPCD) on the agency's draft fee regulations package. The district plan seeks to overhaul its fee and permit regulations.

A budget analysis by the district and metropolitan government has determined that fees are no longer covering the cost of the local air program, so the net result of this process is that it will mean additional costs to the regulated community. This problem will be magnified over time as the local utility, LG&E, reduces its emissions due to EPA requirements, to shift at least some of its generating capacity from coal to natural gas.

KPC has been very vocal throughout this rulemaking process on the point that the district continues to receive some of its funds through the city's general fund so that the entire burden will not fall on industry. "The District responsibilities go beyond stationary sources," wrote KPC in its comments. "While all parties agree, in principle, that this should be the case, we believe this concept needs to be highlighted."

The district will also revise its permit program and is considering the creation of a district enforceable minor source operating permit. The goal is to significantly reduce the number of Federally Enforceable District Origin Operating Permits (FEDOOPS). The district expects the FEDOOPS to be reduced by more than half. It is also proposing that the remaining FEDOOPS pay the same base Strategic Toxic Air Reduction (STAR) program fee as the Title Vs, but not the STAR fee per ton of emissions. The STAR program and fee were implemented by local ordinance in 2005.

In addition, the district would like to charge an application fee for construction permits which will affect both FEDOOPS and Title Vs. The District wants to charge an application fee, even if the application is withdrawn, and to require payment of all fees before a permit is issued.

In its comments, KPC raised its concern about the significant increase in STAR fees that FEDOOPS will be forced to endure. The new fee amounts to a tenfold increase in STAR fees. KPC states that it understands that many sources may be able to take advantage of the "off-ramp" in Regulation 5, "but the lowering of the threshold from 50 tons to 25 tons will have a significant impact on our members. We believe the 50-ton threshold should be restored and that the District consider ways to mitigate the impact for the remaining FEDOOPS."

KPC said that it strongly believes that the 50-ton threshold of a regulated air pollutant be reinstated. In addition, KPCA said that it is not clear how the "off-ramp" provisions in Section 1.13.5 would work in practice, and that other requirements on record keeping, monitoring, etc. for those that qualify for the exemption also need to be clarified.

KPC urged the district to retain the New Source Review exemptions previously listed in the regulations. Also, while it is already in the current regulations, KPC called attention to the automatic Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase that is built into emission fees. Most industries cannot raise prices annually to cover the increase in the CPI. KPC argued that some thought should be given to the overall burden that the District's fees place on the regulated community, and, in particular, how the paint and coatings industry compares to industries outside of Louisville Metro.

KPC also noted that the increases in the Risk Management Plan (RMP) fees seem excessive, as some facilities will see their fees almost quadruple. At a time when many agencies are turning this program back to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, KPC said that it cannot see the justification for this level of increase in the RMP fees.

As part of the rulemaking process, the district created a Fee Regulation Advisory Group, on which KPC has been invited to serve.

Contact ACA's Alison Keane (akeane@paint.org) for more information.
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Title Annotation:ACA Issues In-Depth
Comment:ACA and Kentucky Paint Council comment on fee and permit regulations proposed by Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.(ACA Issues In-Depth)
Publication:JCT CoatingsTech
Geographic Code:1U6KY
Date:Mar 1, 2013
Words:662
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