November 16, 2010
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade, the Environmental Integrity Project, and refinery neighbors are calling on Governor Bobby Jindal to make major polluters in the state pay their fair share under the Clean Air Act.
The Title V program of the federal Clean Air Act helps improve air quality and protect public health and the environment by requiring permits, inspections, and monitoring of pollution from major air pollution sources.
Currently major polluters in Louisiana pay about one third of what is federally required and less than half of what these same industries pay in Texas, according to an analysis by the Environmental Integrity Project. This shortchanges the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality by more than $10 million dollars per year, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for a program that is required by law to be paid for by the biggest sources of air pollution.
Anne Rolfes, founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, said: “We understand the importance of refineries and chemical plants to Louisiana’s economy. But people in Louisiana deserve protection just as much as Texans. These companies can afford the fees and the infusion of cash would be good for our economy and for clean air.”
Under EPA’s Annual Compliance report, Louisiana’s program ranks near the bottom for several compliance and enforcement assessment indicators. For example:
- Louisiana completed full compliance evaluations on less than 50% of major facilities within the state between 2008 and 2009. Only one other state completed compliance evaluations at a lower rate during this two year period. Furthermore, EPA policy requires 100% of major facilities to have full compliance evaluations every two years.
- At the end of 2009 more than 30% of the state’s identified high priority violations went unaddressed for more than 270 days. Furthermore, because of infrequent compliance assessments it is likely many high priority violations are never detected.
For the press release, click here.
For a copy of the letter sent to Governor Bobby Jindal, click here.