Something rotten in the state of Rubbertown

Something rotten in the state of Rubbertown

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - West Louisville's Rubbertown is dealing with odor issues, and pollution enforcement appears to be lacking. Rubbertown is an area where residents can clearly see and smell the pollution from their back yards.

The area has a history of businesses pumping questionable chemicals into the air. Residents have addressed officials before concerning the chemical plants.

"Clean air is an inalienable right and here we are humbling ourselves asking you to please give it to us," Councilwoman Jessica Green said during a July 2017 meeting addressing the Air Pollution Control Board. "That is unacceptable."

"We have had an air toxic reduction program that has reduced the air toxins from the Rubbertown significantly," Air Pollution Control District Director, Keith Talley said. "But there are still odors."

Talley said over the last six years, there have been nearly three odor complaints per day across Metro Louisville. Some come from places like Butchertown, where the notorious Swift Meatpacking Plant has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in odor related fines. But complaints from Rubbertown plants regarding odor have been untouched.

"Because of the number of companies that are down there, there is an inability to pin point where an odor is coming from," Talley said.

Talley says many of the fines enforced in Rubbertown address harmful air toxins.

Arnita Gadsden on the Community Task Force acknowledges the work to minimize harmful pollutants, but wants answers on how to address the frustrating smells.

"Our engineers are taking a look at each company, looking at the chemicals that they work with, and developing an order profile for those companies," Talley said.

The order profiles will help pin point culprits when people report detailed smells.

Talley says cases take time. For example, after two years of investigating, the APCD will be fining Hexion in Rubbertown for air pollution.

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