Residents question neighborhood safety - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Residents question neighborhood safety

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An acid leak occurred at the plant on Sunday. An acid leak occurred at the plant on Sunday.
Eboni Cochran speaking with WAVE 3's Jaimie Weiss. Eboni Cochran speaking with WAVE 3's Jaimie Weiss.
Chris Poynter Chris Poynter

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An accident. That's what officials call the leak at the DuPont plant on Campground Road. However, some residents say it's just another example of the dangers living in a neighborhood next to chemical plants.

At 6 years old, visiting the park with mom may be the best part of the day for Eboni Cochran's son Kai. "He loves to be outside," she said. But living in Chicasaw, which is right next to Rubbertown on the day after a reported chemical leak three miles away, Cochran once again question if it's safe.

She's a member of REACT, a group of citizens in the area whose ultimate goal is creating an area, "where we're not threatened, where I can raise my son come to the park and not have to sniff out the door to see if there's an odor to let him soak in the sun and run around and play and be healthy."

City officials are adamant none of the hydrochloric acid that spilled at the Dupont plant left the facility, but for Cochran it's about more than one reported accident. It's about what she considers every day dangers. "Not much has changed in regards to figuring out how to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals. We need to start talking about safer technologies, newer processes, safer chemicals."

Mayor's Spokesperson Chris Poynter said the city is doing just that with their STAR Program. It was created to make sure industries accurately report pollutants and reduce the emissions. Also, the Code Red Alert System put in place a few years ago to notify people in certain areas if there's an issue.

Still Cochran feels they're just pushing the residents aside, "At this point the evidence shows that the city government sees this area and the people in it as expendable."

Poynter responded, "That's simply not true. If you look at the whole reason we spend $500,000 a year on the Code Red System. That Code Red is for the entire city, but it was mainly created for the Rubbertown area. We're making a significant investment in that area."

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