Swift plant fined nearly $100,000 by Air Pollution Control - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Swift plant fined nearly $100,000 by Air Pollution Control District

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There are problems in the air around the Swift meat processing plant here in Louisville, and the Air Pollution Control District is forcing the company to pay a price.

It comes as no surprise to those who live and work in Butchertown that the Swift plant is having to pay a fine for fouling the air.

At Freddie's Market on E. Washington St., it's the smell of barbecue ribs on the grill that fills the air -- but owner Freddie Hanner says there are times when the odor from the Swift plant two blocks east even overwhelms his secret sauce.

"As far as it coming here, to this area, we don't get the stench all the time," said Hanner. "But when it comes, it's pretty heavy."

That odor, along with excessive greenhouse emissions and other violations, have led the Air Pollution Control District to hit Swift with a $98,750 fine.

Hanner says he's not surprised.

"It is a business that requires them to use a lot of chemicals and things of that nature," he said. "Keeping all that under control is going to be difficult. I mean, they have to do it, but it wouldn't surprise me that they got fined for that."

And it's not the first time that Swift has had to pay for its pollution. The District fined Swift just over $37,000 in 2011 and $47,000 in 2008.

Andy Cornelius, the President of the Butchertown Neighborhood Association says he's glad the company is being held accountable.

"We're hoping that the company will step up to the plate and actually become a good corporate citizen and to do what's right and decide to obey the law," he said.

And Freddie Hanner is hoping for a day when his ribs are the only smell that draws attention.

"We're hoping that something can be worked out where they can maintain what they are doing and also keep the environment a little bit more safe and more clean," he said.

The company has until March 28 to comply or risk further penalties.

So far, Swift has not responded to WDRB's request for comment.

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