Metro Council members leaning on air pollution officials to not relax standards
Louisville Metro Council is putting pressure on officials to deny a request to be more lenient on air pollution standards for a Rubbertown plant.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville Metro Council is putting pressure on officials to deny a request to be more lenient on air pollution standards for a Rubbertown plant.
American Synthetic Rubber, located on Camp Ground Road, requested a modification of air pollution regulations.
The plant makes rubber for tires and one of the byproducts is something called Butadiene, which is a known cancer causing agent.
Last Thursday, Metro Council passed a resolution urging the Air Pollution Control District to deny the company’s request to ease restrictions.
“We thought it was very important to say that the Air Pollution Control District needs to use the most stringent standards that they can possibly apply,” District 9 Councilman Bill Hollander (D) said.
Hollander was a co-sponsor of the legislation but it was spearheaded by District 1 Councilwoman Jessica Green (D).
“We expect that the lives of people are not expendable over the bottom line profit of a corporation,” Green said back in May, when the issue was picking up steam.
It was in September of 2015 that it was discovered that American Synthetic Rubber was in violation of Louisville’s Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program, or “STAR," which started in 2005.
“STAR is an excellent program,” Hollander said. “STAR is more stringent than the federal standards but that’s important for this community, it’s important for all of our air.”
During a previous public hearing, American Synthetic Rubber pointed out it has reduced overall emissions by close to 90 percent since Louisville began the STAR program.
“Unlike 199 other companies under the STAR program, American Synthetic Rubber continues to run from its obligations to help protect the health of West Louisville,” Green said.
When asked if it was possible for the company to come into compliance at a recent Metro Council Committee meeting, Keith Talley, the director of the Air Pollution Control District said “No, there is a way to get there.”
A decision on the request for modification could come as early as this week.
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