Final public hearing to be held Wednesday on proposed change to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Final public hearing to be held Wednesday on proposed change to Louisville's air pollution rules

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American Synthetic Rubber Co. American Synthetic Rubber Co.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Air Pollution Control District is holding a public hearing Wednesday on American Synthetic Rubber Company’s request for modification of air pollution regulations.

American Synthetic Rubber, which is located on Camp Ground Road, makes rubber for use in tires and other products. One byproduct of that is a chemical called Butadiene, which is known to cause cancer.

The company is asking the Air Pollution Control District to ease restrictions on how much of the chemical it releases into the air, but Metro Council member Jessica Green is fighting the request.

“We expect that the lives of people are not expendable over the bottom line profit of a corporation,” Green said.

Bill Langford, who has lived in Rubbertown for 30 years, said he's convinced neighbors have died from living so close to nearby factories.

“I believe it's because of the pollution that we're experiencing around here," he said. "I believe it."

During a previous public hearing, American Synthetic pointed out it has reduced overall emissions by close to 90 percent since Louisville began the Strategic Toxic Air Reduction, or STAR, program in 2003.

“We would like to request the district to recognize that ASRC has been diligent in implementing best available technology, and that we would like the modification to be granted,” said plant manager Guillaume Coiraton during the April 19 hearing.

Keith Talley, the director of the Air Pollution Control District, said even if the modification is granted, the company will still be in overall compliance.

“That overarching goal for the community public safety is being maintained,” Talley said.

But Green says the argument that the company is doing the best it can does not fly.

“Almost doesn't count," she said. "There's no such thing as a little bit of cancer."

Langford plans to attend the second and final public hearing on Wednesday night. He said the standards should be strictly enforced, no matter the cost to the company.

“When you talk about somebody's health, you know, what is someone's health worth?” he said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, American Synthetic Rubber's parent company, Michelin, said it submitted a revised request and will discuss it in more detail during the public hearing.

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