Fayette may fight EPA air quality ruling
Fayette County officials may challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to declare the county an ozone “non-attainment area” for air quality standards.
Filing the challenge will cost $35,000, but if the county wins, it would relieve existing and potential businesses of various regulatory burdens that could potentially hamper or prevent industrial growth.
The Fayette County Commission will discuss a proposal from a private firm to challenge the EPA’s preliminary decision at the regular commission meeting Thursday at 7 p.m.
The county has a proposal from the governmental affairs consulting firm of Joe Tanner and Associates.
According to the firm’s proposal, its officials “are confident that we can make a case on your behalf and that we can convince the Georgia EPD to recommend that Fayette County be removed from the non-attainment area.”
EPA lacks air quality data from Fayette County because it does not have an air quality monitor that is reviewed by EPA, according to Joe Tanner and Associates. The firm’s proposal states that “Fayette County has a relatively small amount of pollutant emissions that contribute to ozone, so the proposed designation of Fayette County to be in the non-attainment area is questionable.”
According to the proposal the EPA is proposing Fayette County be deemed an area of non-attainment because it is next to Fulton County, “which has documented ozone violations.”
EPA is proposing to designate Fayette as one of 18 counties in the ozone air quality non-attainment area for metro Atlanta. According to the EPA, the final decision is expected to be made this summer.
The proposal indicates that project will be handled by the former director of the Georgia Environment Protection Division, the former assistant director of EPD and also a former high-ranking EPA official.
In other business Thursday night, the commission will be presented with the results of its annual financial audit. Also the commission will consider a request from Chief Superior Court Judge Christopher C. Edwards to adopt a probation services agreement with Judicial Correction Services.