Strategic Toxic Air Reduction Program

The Strategic Toxic Air Reduction (STAR) Program of the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District is a regulatory program to reduce harmful contaminants in the air we breathe, to better protect citizens’ health and enhance quality of life.

Why do we need this program?

The program was created in response to several studies which showed that Louisville had unacceptably high levels of toxic chemicals in the air. A monitoring study in 2000-01 documented that there were high concentrations of harmful air toxics, including cancer-causing chemicals, in specific neighborhoods. A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that included modeling of reported emissions concluded that our air had the highest potential risk for adverse effects of all of the counties in the eight southeastern states. The threat to public health from toxic air contaminants was deemed sufficient to warrant action on the part of local government. The STAR Program is our community’s response to these disturbing findings and commitment to improve our air quality.  Read more about the history of the program.

What does it do?

There are three main components to the STAR Program:

  • It lists toxic air contaminants (TACs), establishes a framework for estimating risks and generally prohibits emitting TACs in a harmful amount or duration. (Regulations 5.01 and 5.23.)
  • It requires about 170 companies that emit the largest amounts of chemicals to determine through modeling whether they are exceeding the health risk goal for each of the targeted chemicals. It requires companies that exceed the goal to present a plan to reduce emissions and reach the goal over the next six years. (Regulations 5.21, 5.20 and 5.22.)
  • It requires APCD to develop a plan of action to reduce emissions from other sources with the help of interested stakeholders in the community.  (Regulation 5.30.)