Federal, State, and Local agencies work in conjunction to protect and improve ambient air quality. The foundation of those efforts is based on the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA). The CAA is comprised of multiple titles but the goals of these pages is to introduce Title V air quality regulations applicable to the University. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for administering the CAA.
The EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) develops national programs, policies, and regulations for controlling air pollution and radiation exposure. OAR addresses pollution prevention and energy efficiency; indoor and outdoor air quality; industrial air pollution; pollution from vehicles and engines; radon; acid rain; stratospheric ozone depletion; climate change; and radiation protection.
The OAR is divided into four sections one of which is the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) with a primary responsibility to preserve and improve air quality in the United States. To accomplish this, OAQPS:
- compiles and reviews air pollution data
- develops regulations to limit and reduce air pollution
- assists states and local agencies with monitoring and controlling air pollution
- makes information about air pollution available to the public
- reports to Congress the status of air pollution and the progress made in reducing it
To manage the actions taken by OAQPS and other offices, the EPA developed ten Regional offices throughout the United States. Kentucky is served by the Southeast region known as EPA Region 4. The EPA approved Kentucky as a delegated state to implement, maintain, and enforce the National Ambient Air Quality Standards by approving the state’s plan to satisfy those requirements. This provides Kentucky with the ability to operate a Title V program with oversight from EPA. Any measure, including regulations, which Kentucky adopts must be at least as stringent as a corresponding federal measure.
More information on the Federal authority and delegation process is located at:
- Clean Air Act
- Environmental Protection Agency
- EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation
- Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
- State Implementation Plan Requirements
- Kentucky’s State Implementation Plan
- Federal Regulations
Kentucky authority to operate an air quality program is contained in the Kentucky Revised Statute, Title XVIII – Public Health, Chapter 224 – Environmental Protection which prohibits air pollution in violation of standards and rules. The statute also authorized the creation of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Division for Air Quality (KDAQ) to operate the program.
To operate an efficient program, the KDAQ is divided into sections of specific topics.
- Program Planning – Drafts regulations and programs to meet state and federal standards
- Technical Services – Monitors ambient air quality and observes performance testing
- Permit Review – Reviews applications and issues or denies permits (including Title V) to regulate pollutant emissions
- Field Operations – Inspects and enforces air quality permits and regulations
Whenever the University plans to construct a source that could emit an air pollutant, the federal and states regulations must be evaluated to determine the impacts of the project and a comprehensive application submitted to KDAQ for review and consideration. Depending on the project impact, the permit may be posted for public comment and EPA review.
More information on the State authority and delegation process is located at:
- Kentucky Revised Statute 224 – Environmental Protection
- Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet
- Kentucky Division for Air Quality
- KDAQ Regulations
Kentucky may authorize a local air quality program but there is currently no local program for Fayette County. Although the University is not permitted locally, there are programs within the county that reduce air emissions.
More information on Fayette/Lexington regulations and programs: