Chickasaw residents slam local rubber company's request to ease - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Chickasaw residents slam local rubber company's request to ease air pollution regulations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- At what cost will it take to guarantee clean air to residents of the Chickasaw neighborhood? 

“We have people in our neighborhood who are suffering from illnesses that can be attributable or agitated by chemicals coming from those chemical plants,” says Eboni Cochran, who has lived in the Chickasaw neighborhood for 14 years.

Cocrah was just one person packed into the final public meeting Wednesday addressing the request of American Synthetic Rubber Company to ease restrictions on how much of the chemical Butadiene it releases during emissions.

The company makes rubber used in tires and other products.

One by one, concerned residents voiced their concerns with the modification request.

“American Synthetic Rubber Company believes their values for profit should outweigh our communal values for people’s lives," one resident said to Air Pollution Control District members. "The question is who will you value?”

Those in the audience held signs that read “Don’t relax the rules,” and “People not poison.”

Residents from more than a mile away from the west Louisville plant say they can smell the chemicals in the air, but the company says the focused area only reaches a couple hundred yards from the property.

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 are partnering with Air Pollution Control District on what those best practices are, those best available technologies are and we are committed to continuously improve those emission, “ said Guillaume Coiraton, the company’s plant manager.

Wednesday was the final public meeting. Those with air pollution control say they do not know when they’ll make a decision on the request.

Related Stories:

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

Residents balk after operators of Rubbertown plant propose changes to pollution rules

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