Environmental Programs

For about the last thirty years, air pollution agencies such as APCD focused almost exclusively on the types of stationary and area sources described in the engineering section, large and small industries and businesses.

However, in recent years it became clear that if additional progress in improving our community’s air quality was to be made that a broader range of sources and strategies would have to be pursued.

To that end, in 1998, APCD created the Environmental Programs unit that focuses on the very important and related areas of energy policies, transportation and mobile sources, land use and sustainable development.

For more information on the specifics of any of the components please contact the manager of Environmental Programs.

 

Energy Strategies

The use of energy in its many forms—coal, oil, gasoline, natural gas and other similar energy sources—has a major impact on our environment, especially air quality. APCD has established a focus on energy issues as a core function of the agency within the Environmental Programs section.

We are developing specific strategies and programs that will address this important nexus between energy and air quality. The general areas we address include energy efficiency, energy conservation, demand side management, the promotion of renewable energy, and climate change issues.

Among the specific initiatives pursued by APCD have been

APCD has received several federal grants to encourage energy efficiency in Jefferson County.

These and other similar strategies, when implemented community by community,will provide substantial benefits for air quality at the local, regional and national levels.

Transportation and Mobile Sources

Our community’s transportation infrastructure and the vehicles that use it have a substantial impact on air quality. Therefore, APCD is focusing on these areas as a core function of the agency.

Through our focus on transportation infrastructure, APCD is substantially involved with KIPDA, our regional metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and its planning and decision-making process for how roads are developed and federal and state funds are spent on this infrastructure.

APCD has been significantly involved in the community process studying the need for additional bridges between Jefferson County and Southern Indiana andthe Transit Authority of River City’s (TARC) Transportation Tomorrow (T2) project study on the possible development of a light rail system for the community.

Additional transportation issues in which APCD is engaged include promoting the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems, signalization of our streets, parking issues, congestion mitigation strategies, and the transport of goods by freight and rail.

Our core function focusing on mobile sources intends to both preserve our community’s legitimate and appropriate mobility needs while providing multi-modal options that reduce the impact on air quality. To that end, APCD helps our citizens have a range of modal options including encouraging a non-transit option such as telecommuting, non-motorized options such as bicycling and walking, more mass transit opportunities including carpooling and vanpooling, encouraging the use of alternative fuels such as ethanol, propane, compressed natural gas, and alternative-design vehicles such as hybrid gas/electric vehicles.

And, when single occupancy vehicles are used, we encourage good fuel efficiency, that they are well maintained including adequate tire pressure, that the community uses efficient trip chaining, follows established speed limits,and avoids excessive idling.

APCD has obtained several federal grants to develop education and outreach programs to encourage these positive actions in the community.

Land Use Strategies

The way in which a community develops and uses its land resources has a substantial affect on the community’s air quality. Therefore, APCD focuses on land use as a core function of the agency.

For several years, APCD has actively participated in the local land use planning and zoning process by evaluating over 200 proposed developments per year for the potential impacts on carbon monoxide (CO) levels. APCD actively participated in the Cornerstone 2020 process to revise the Comprehensive Plan and in drafting the Land Development Code which most new development must follow.

The District's Development Plan Review incorporates preliminary screening assessments, recommendations, mitigation measures and air quality analysis review for determining air quality impacts with proposed planning and zoning development projects in the metropolitan area.

APCD has expanded our focus to evaluate how the community’s land use decisions affect a much broader range of air pollutants including ozone, particulates, toxic air pollutants, odors and similar nuisances and how land use policies interact with energy use, transportation infrastructures and mobile sources and sustainable development strategies.

Sustainable Development

Over the years, a major theme of sustainable development has developed around concerns for environmental protection. At its most basic, this theme, which has been identified as a core function area by APCD, promotes policies, strategies and activities within a community that encourages the wise use and conservation of our resources and practices which minimize the adverse effects we have on our environment.

We applied principles of sustainable development in the revitalized Park DuValle area. APCD received a three-year EPA Sustainable Development Challenge Grant to foster environmental and economically sustainable development practices in this newly rebuilt community. Through workshops, seminars, newsletters and hands-on demonstrations we helped homeowners learn how to recycle, compost, buy energy-efficient appliances; how to develop and run a small business and develop a community garden.

Currently, APCD has been instrumental in working with the local US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office, the Kentucky Division of Energy, and the US EPA to incorporate and implement energy efficiency strategies in the Liberty Green HOPE VI revitalization project of the former Clarksdale housing project. The entire new development exceeds Energy Star standards, using 40% less energy than required by code.

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