Northern Kentucky business leaders from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber), Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association (KPMA), and state and local officials led by State Representative Diane St. Onge (63rd District) and Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore celebrated this significant environmental and economic milestone today at a press conference in Devou Park.
“This decision means consumers no longer have to pay for higher-priced RFG at the pump year-round while it continues the region's commitment to meeting environmental standards,” said Rep. St. Onge. “The adoption of a less-expensive yet effective environmental plan is the result of a collaborative endeavor our team led to reduce regulatory burdens while protecting the communities in which we live and work.”
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According to Brian Clark, KPMA Executive Director, this change is possible due to improvements in gasoline, cleaner operating cars and other environmental advancements. “We are proud of everything our industry is doing to not only protect air quality but lessen our environmental impact as well,” he said.
“It also took the cooperation of our regional delegation and state regulatory officials to bring this to fruition,” added Clark. “We appreciate the Kentucky Division for Air Quality’s openness to modernizing the plan and understanding that we share the common goal of protecting the environment while not unnecessarily burdening the economy. The change received widespread support and virtually no opposition, which is a credit to the quality of the new plan and the support of our officials.”
The EPA approval is the culmination of years of leadership and collaboration by multiple organizations and public officials in Northern Kentucky.
Rhonda Whitaker, NKY Chamber Board Chair said, “Without the dedication of our NKY Chamber board and Chamber volunteers like Steve Harper and Phil Schworer, local officials like Judge Executive Gary Moore, State Representative Diane St. Onge, leadership by the KPMA, and the support of various NKY mayors and Judges Executive that wrote letters and publicly spoke out, this wouldn’t have happened. I would like to thank everyone involved for making this happen for the benefit of our economy. This is a great day for Northern Kentucky!”
Northern Kentucky has been required to use reformulated gasoline (RFG) since 1995 after the Commonwealth voluntarily opted into the federal RFG program to meet Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements.
Last year, the Kentucky Division for Air Quality evaluated the potential impact of removing RFG in the area. The agency found that removal of the requirements would not interfere with the attainment or maintenance of the national ambient air quality standards for ozone. The Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) submitted a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision to remove the RFG requirements from the Northern Kentucky area and demonstrated to EPA that this revision will not interfere with the attainment and reasonable further progress of any current NAAQS.
EEC Secretary Charles Snavely said, “Work by the Division of Air Quality demonstrated that there is no significant benefit to keep reformulated gasoline in Northern Kentucky. So, it made sense to petition the EPA to replace it with conventional gasoline.”
The effective date of the opt-out is expected to be on or around July 1, 2018, which is 90 days from Monday’s published approval (April 2) of the SIP by the EPA in the Federal Register. The approval notice is available at www.federalregister.gov.