Wednesday February 20, 2019
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APCD To End Airborne Lead Monitoring

As of January 1, 2017, the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (APCD) will no longer maintain an ambient air monitor in Louisville/Jefferson County to measure the level of airborne lead.

An analysis of data collected from the APCD lead monitoring site on Cannons Lane in Louisville indicates that levels of airborne lead are far below the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for the pollutant. The current national standard for airborne lead is 0.15 micrograms per cubic foot of air (μg/m3) on a rolling three-month average.

Airborne lead monitoring values

To exceed the lead standard, a three-month rolling average must be greater than 0.15 μg/m3.  At the Cannons Lane site, the maximum three-month rolling average was 0.008 μg/m3 during the period depicted.  While airborne lead was once a major air pollutant of concern, it is no longer used in motor vehicle fuels in the U.S., prompting levels of airborne lead to drop precipitously over the past several decades. It is not anticipated that levels of airborne lead will ever approach or exceed the federal standard here in Louisville/Jefferson County, hence the decision to cease monitoring for it.

Additionally, in February 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discontinued a requirement to measure for large particles of airborne lead (Pb-PM10) at monitoring sites in its National Core Multipollutant Network due to extremely low concentrations being measured at these sites, which include the Cannons Lane monitor.

The public is welcome to comment about this action.

Comments may be submitted to:

Billy Dewitt, Air Monitoring Program Manager

Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District

701 W. Ormsby Ave., Suite 303

Louisville, Ky.  40203

The public may also submit comments via email at air@louisvilleky.gov

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