Butchertown company fined for air pollution violations - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Butchertown company fined for air pollution violations

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Swift Pork Company plant on Story Avenue Swift Pork Company plant on Story Avenue

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Residents of one Louisville neighborhood are fed up with a foul odor they smell every day. Now the company responsible has to pay up. 

Residents in Butchertown have been living with an unpleasant odor for years.

"It's just a foul smell," said Jim Segrest of the Butchertown Neighborhood Association. "Sometimes it smells like manure and sometimes it smells like cooking hair or cooking fat."

Segrest is talking about the odor coming for an animal processing plant in the 1200 block of Story Avenue. It has been in Butchertown for decades, but residents say it has never smelled this bad.

"The company is operating more hours, so the smell is around the clock," said Segrest who lives nearby.

Businesses in the Butchertown area are feeling the burden too. They have had to install air scrubbers and adjust heating/cooling systems. It was complaints like these caused the Air Pollution Control Board to investigate and fine the Swift Pork Company $47,800 for five years of violations.

"The company has agreed to the terms of the order," said enforcement manager Terri Phelps to the board.

Swift attorney Dennis Conniff says more plans are in the works for upgrades.

"We do estimate that we will have to spend a minimum of a quarter of a million dollars," said Conniff.

Still residents are skeptical saying the fine itself is too low.

"$47,000 is you know a small cost of daily operations," said Segrest. "It's not anything that hurts them or will cause them to correct their behavior."

Some changes have already been made at the plant, but others will not happen until summer 2009. Until then, residents will just have to wait.