Rubbertown residents fear health hazards amid company’s request

Updated: May. 18, 2017 at 12:31 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Rubbertown residents and their supporters made their position clear to the Air Pollution Control Board Wednesday night.

"Do you think that when he said this isn't going to affect West Louisville we were all going to walk out of here? No," a Rubbertown resident said.

Community members are not okay with American Synthetic Rubber Company's request to modify its emissions goals to exceed the limit of a cancer-causing chemical.

The guidelines fall under the STAR or Strategic Toxic Air Reduction Program.

"Board you have the STAR," Councilwoman Mary Woolridge said. "What I am asking you today to do is and I'm almost demanding that you do it, you enforce the law. This is on the books."

Rubbertown residents believe their health has never been a priority and lowering the emissions standards for the rubber company would only make matters worse.

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The company's emissions include the cancer-causing chemical 1.3 butadiene.

"Butadiene has been linked to cancer, respiratory illnesses, reproductive and neurological issues," Pastor David Snardon said.

"My grandfather worked at American Synthetic Rubber Company and lost his life because of the exposure to the toxic chemicals," another Rubbertown resident said.

The rubber company's plant manager, Guillaume Coiraton, believes the residents are wrong.

"ASRC has a longstanding history of committing to reducing air emission and we've reduced them by 90 percent since 2003," Coiration said.

For the residents in attendance Wednesday night, that math isn't good enough.

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"Ten percent of something toxic is still something that lacks a therapeutic level and therefore it isn't okay in my book," a Rubbertown resident said.

The board said there will be a public hearing for the rubber company's second request. A date and time have not yet been set.
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