The Kentucky Division for Air Quality (DAQ) is pleased to announce the release of the 2014 annual report, which details the division’s mission, function, and commitment to protecting human health and the environment.
Kentucky’s continued trend of air quality improvement is evident in the charts found in the Technical Services Branch section of this report. These achievements are only obtained through:
- developing effective regulations and control strategies by the Program Planning Branch;
- issuing appropriate permits containing all applicable requirements by the Permit Review Branch; and
- inspecting sources of air emissions and enforcing emission limitations by the Field Operations Branch.
This collective success and the accomplishments of each branch are dependent on DAQ’s administrative support staff, which provides the necessary resources and support to carry out the division’s mission and obligations.
Air quality in Kentucky has improved dramatically in the past several decades. For example, coal-fired power plants emitted approximately 1.5 million tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in 1976. In comparison, SO2 emissions from Kentucky coal-fired power plants in 2013 totaled only 188,114 tons. After the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are implemented and enforced, the division is projecting annual emissions of SO2 from coal-fired power plants to be further reduced to less than 100,000 tons.
This significant decrease in SO2 emissions is good news, but there’s still more work to be done. In 2013, two air monitoring sites exceeded the 1-hour SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). These two monitoring sites have been significantly impacted by coal-fired power plants, one of which has since shut down while the other facility is upgrading its air pollution control equipment. The division projects that each of these sites will attain the NAAQS in the near future and prior to the statutory deadline.
As the report details, Kentucky is currently meeting the NAAQS for particulate matter, lead, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. It should also be noted that all of the 26 ozone monitors operated in the Commonwealth recorded ozone concentrations well below the NAAQS in 2013.
The 2014 Division for Air Quality annual report and all previous annual reports can be found at: http://air.ky.gov/Pages/DivisionReports.aspx