Louisville heat island report to be released Monday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville heat island report to be released Monday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The long-awaited study of Louisville’s urban heat islands will be unveiled next week, the city’s top air-quality official said Wednesday.

Keith H. Talley Sr., director of the Air Pollution Control District, told his agency’s board that an announcement is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Monday in the Mayor’s Gallery of Metro Hall, 527 W. Jefferson Street.

The study looks at urban heat islands, or places laden with sun-absorbing rooftops, asphalt and concrete that are much warmer than surrounding rural areas. Since the early 1960s, Louisville’s heat islands have grown at a faster rate than those in any other U.S. city, according to Georgia Tech’s Urban Climate Lab.

The draft report will include “recommendations at this point, and not policy,” said Jessica Wethington, spokeswoman for the Louisville Forward economic development agency. A separate plan will identify how best to cool the warmest areas.

City officials will seek public comments on the study for 60 days after the report is released, Wethington said. Details of the public meetings aren’t yet finalized.

Brian Stone of Georgia Tech is heading the study. Stone’s earlier research found that in one single day in July 2010, more than five square miles had surface temperatures above 100 degrees, including parts of downtown and Ford Motor Co.’s two plants.

Days of intense heat are expected to increase in the coming decades, putting at-risk residents such as the elderly in “grave danger” and leading to more pollution, according to the city’s Office of Sustainability.

The project’s $135,000 cost is being covered by grants from private foundations and nonprofit groups.

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