You are on page 1of 68

Air testsshow

1

__ ,-·- -·----,
--···· ·- ---· .- --~-----:-- ··---.------.··- -

cancerrisks~-
. -- ----- ---- - ---

Unsafe·level·of pollutantsfoundin L:ouisviJie
··1
. . . ' . -

ByJAMESBRUGGERS ed last week:That atleast some would be among the h,ighestin orconsult~nttotheEP~sScience
jbruggers@courier-joumal.com Louisvillearea residentsface ex- the nation,saidMitchellSmall, an Advisory Board engineering
TheCourier.Joumal cessivehealth risks from expo- environmental~ngineeringpro- commi~ee since-1985,'.1Jld is an
sure to hazardous air pollutants. fessorat carne~e MellonUmver- expert m the mathematicalmod~
All13air-qualitymonitorsin a The draft report found 26 sicy. Small asstStedthe newspa- . eling of environmentalquality.
Louisvill'e-areastudy recorded chemicals·or othercompoundsat per on its own analysisof the air · Theywarrant"seriousconsid- ·
concentrationsoftoxicpollutants
that overtime couldsignificantly
concentrationsthat exceedlevels
that the U.S.EnvironmentalPr.o-
monitoringda1aiu)d was told of eration by public officials," he
the draft report'sfindingsyester- said.
I
increasea person's risk of cancer tectionAgencyand localofficials day.Hecomparedthemtonation- The consultantsfocusedtheir
or other healthproblems,accord- considersafe - for exampleone al EPArisk projections. . attention _on-four compounds
ing to an unreleaseddraft report additional cancer case in "The cumulativecancer risks they said presented the'greatest
obtainedbyThe Courier-Journal. 1millionpeople.The report pre- ... in the Louisvillearea are at or risk:
The report, from an envi,ron- dictedthat amongthe monitoring abov.e the highest ,;,aluesprevi- • 1,3-butacliene,used in -the.I
mental consultingfirm, confirms sites,therewouldbe between130 ously estimated by the EPAfor ·· manufa~tureof syntheticrubber
what the newspaperfound in its and 840additionalcases of can- hazardous air pollutants anr- ~
independentanalysisof the same cer per 1millionpeople. · where in the UmtedStates,"said 'I
air monitoringdata and publish- Risklevelsof that magnitude Small,who has been a memberof
Gl.()SSARY OF CHEMICALS, COMPOUNDS.4ND THE.HEALTH
. . . . .
IRISKS
THll:Y POSE
. . . . . .... . -· ..
. . r.:.·: . .. . : -~'
:·. .
In its draft report, Sciences International identified 26 chemicals or other compounds at levels that exceed what the U.S; Environmental Protection,
: .,;,,} ..~ .
~g~~cy'~P-4JQc!il Qfficiii~sc(jnsMer safe. H
idtlmtiHedfour as main threats: 1,3-bntadicne, acrylonitrile, chromium and carbon teti;achloride, and seven others that it said presented the greatest health risk at i~dividual moiii!odng sites.
• • • • ~ • • • •"•• l •

1,3-butadiene 1,2-dichloroethene . Acrylonitrile Carbon . Chloro'torm Chromium Ethyl acrylate Formaldehyde . •N-nltrosodi-n- Perchlorethylene Mangane$e : .· : .. ;, .
Found in motor Mainly used to make Used In the tetrachloride' . . Used to make Us~d by various Used In the Used to make propylamine Industrial solvent Found hi emissions
vehicle emissions arid other chemicals. manufacture of acrylic Industrial soive'nt other chenilcais, Industries; manufacture of other chemicals, Produced by often us~d by dry •from coai-burnirigand.'/
used in manufacture Health rislc · fibers· and In making used by industry. and can be · lnciuahig metal . water-based building materials Industry l11small cleanj:lrs•. · used for various·
of synthetic rubber. . Possible cause of certain plastic and . Health risks . reli/ased into the plating, and · latex paints·and· and household· amount$ for · Health risks , industrisil purposes,, .:.
Health risks cancer in humans. rubber products. Can cause Jiv·er air as a by- reporteq in coal" adhesives, products and· research <!l']dused Possible cau$e oi' ' One form of the."',·''
Causes cancer in · Health risks and l<ldney · prodyct ~f . fired power plant . paper coatings also is a part of during·the . cancer In humans;:. compoµnd Is uijel})r· ..
people and has Can cause· damage and is chlorination of erriissions. and in the gasoline. manufacture of also associated · · the treatment of waste-
caused kidney and headaches, fatigue, classified as a wast~water and Health risks production of Health risks . some rubber
·product!!,
with headaches,:-· water. .
liver disease in nausea and probable cause drinking water. Its most toxic form aciylic fibers. Classified as a brain, nerve and .. 1-fe~lthrisk$ ,,, ,;, ..
animals. Can irritate weakness; has of cancer in · · Health risks can cause cancer· Health risk probable cause Health risks kidney d!=image.- While essential to life
eyes, nose and caused respiratory humans. Has Can cause liver In humans and Classified as a of cancer in Probable cause of in trace ;3.mounts,,.,.,,
throat. At high levels, system and brain decreased fertility and kldney · . has caused qlrth probable cause humans;-can cancer in humans; excessive'long-term .
it can cause.brain and damage in laboratory in animals: • damage and defects In animals. of cancer in also irritate the may harm the liver. exposure c<1nresµlt,in
nerve damage. Has animals; suspected of harm the central humans. eyes, nose and losses of visual ._,.,.,'.
caused birlh defects causing cancer in • nervous system · throat. reaction time, hand
in mice. people. Has caused leading to steadihess,. eye-hand
birth defects in rats.. depression and coordination and
irritability. libido,
_§Ol/RGE.S:FEIJl:flAL AGENCIES.UNIVERSIWOF LOUISVILLE

!
~i:"ir{j:-.
::..• -:•.:_~·~•.
·.Y{~••r - -~~- .•
and foundinmotor vehicle emission~.'\ '~~ · · Legat?rsai:lflt'1!ikelythatthereport • Some otb,erofficials, however, are
It's knownto cause ~;:mcerin people.At '·. -- underesnmates-rrsk.'The.mote scien°
high levels.it can cause brain and nerve i •· tists learn abo'ut chemicils/the more'
damage; and it has caused kidney and they find that.there ,:ire health effects,ii.t'
liverdisease L, animals. · · ever-smal\etexpdsures,. saillLegatoi,'
·a Acrylonitrile, used in the manu- former chief of the'genetic.tcixicology
facture of syntheticrubber.It's suspect, br~1:chof the U.S. Food and Drug Ad-
ed of causing cancer in people,· · · . mm1strat10n,
mChromium, found in emissions "Thebottomline is thatwe shouldbe
from coal-burners and possibly other. e~<?sed to,,nothing a:tall that can be
industrialsources. Its most toxicform is efumnated. · •· ·
known to catisifcaiicer·in peop1ifafia-:T ·But Moransaid the EPAoften makes •
birth defects ih animal11 .... ------~-- ... i ultra-protective assumptions about 1

· Ill Carbontetrachloride, an industn~7 what levels of risk are acceptable.With
al solvent.The EPAhas classifiedit as_a \ butadiene;_she said, actual risk may be
probablehU1I1an carcinogen. · i 20 to 100times lower th;m what the re~
pon:found. ,,
ALLFOUR were found in multiple i
monitors.The concentrationsin the vi- \ "They are predicting more risk than
cinity _ofwest~rn Louisville'sRubber- I you actuallyhave," she said.
town mdustnal complex were "not , . Based on as many as 3Lair sam•
-much different" from two sampling l plmgsbetweenMaY2000qt1d2001,the
sites miles away used as reference i draft report calculated the risks of get-
points,accordingto theteport. The sin- i ting cancer as well as the risk of devel-
oping other.health pr.oblems,Jrom
gle,highestoverall risk to public health i1
rashes to reducedlung function to brain
Therisk le~ls
was fqUI1dat a monitoring:s_tationclos- 1
e~tto.theR,ubbertownchemicalcomp&-·,
mes,: '·.: ,:·_.. · ,, · · · : · ·. : ._ '· · · !
or ne~e damageat each of the monitor
sites. :- . . . · . · · .. ''areat ..
:'fhereport followsan EPAstudy last [
Octpber.thafranked Lou~'ville-Jeffer-.i
, The health risks were t_iedto expo-
sure over decad~s. The study pointed or abovethe'highesi
S?iiCountyfirst among 736countiesin / out that the readings showed no imme•
diaten_ ·sk_'fronishort-ti;rm,exposure.
val~esprevioitsly. . ___
_
eight southe_astern states .fot health :
risks from hazardous air pollutants. I State Sen; Gerald Neal, a Louisville
:pemocrat,wh()_helpedobtain funding
·estimated the:EPA·,
by
Concentrationsof at least fivechem- I
icalsin Louisville-areaair,includingbu- !:· tl?r the study, said the problem
airpollutantsappears morewidespread
of toxic for hazardous dzr }\.<·
tadiene and acrylonitrile,were found to ·
be lOtol,000timeshigherthanwhatthe
EPAestimates as typical for·an urban
tha~ anyone thought< .
· It may be we need to expand air anyw!i2ft?
jf8ltilii/fits ,;,> .. , . -;'~ ,,·; • _•o• •

area, according to a separate analysis monitoring," he said, suggesting air
for The Courier~Journal.reported in last samplingbe done throughout the coun-
ty."This is serious)'· · •. · · :
week's newspaper. - ·. · : ..
Public health experts contacted by ..·Co:1-sultants from .the Virginia firm.
the newspaper $aid that, while the sci: of Sciences International, who pre- s~art1ng~o_a,~k
for answers_rhlse9~ftJ:t~i
ence of risk assessment can be uncer- pared the report fortheWest Jefferson air momtonng results. State S.tmtNeal
COU!)-~CommunityTaskForce aridthe also said he wants answ-el:siabciu"h,
tain, the public Should'pay attention to whetherpeopleactuallyliaveoi!'eii
sicit:\
the consultants' findings. · :. : · ·:.· Lomsv1lle. Metro Air Pollution,Coiltrol
District,are scheduledto visitfouisville ened from the exposures.· · . '/''"' _,·,·:
P.Barry Ryan, professor of environ+ So does the LouisvilleMetro Health ;
me.ntaland occupationalhealthat Emo•·· t?da:Yand discus~ a summary of their
fmdmgs at a pubhc forum. ·· D,eIJartlllent,S?_idspokesman Dave ;
-ryUniversityin_Atlant~i aweed; addin!f Land~on..He said the health depar:t~·
t~atthe "relat1velyJugh co.ncentra•, Arnita Gadson;,executive di.rector
tmns,found at two schools -M.L.King :, for the task force, declinedto comment mentmtends to forwardJhemonitoring·
Elementa!Yand Gan!)_Run Elementary-'-_ j on the detailsof the draft rc\port. . results to the.Agency for, Toxic Subs,
. But she said the results of the news" stances and Disease Registry,a part of; :•
. "shouldgiv~pause for concern;''. .. , l .theU.S. Departmentof Health and Hu- r ·
.''Any.time you)1-ave chirdren in- t paper's analysisand herpreliminaryre-
volvedi people become mor.e con:,. ; -vlewofl~-cfraftrepoffpreserif''a'cl'i - . man Services,for further analysis. ··.. ;
cerm;d;''..he said: That's because 'chi!, i lenge to the entire communityif weare '
dren are more susceptibleto health ef- i ' to build on our.economic.base." It will ·
fects from chemicals,he added. · ._--.·. j be hard; she said,for the Louisvilleinet• I
:Ryan,who llas studied air quality in· 1 ro ar~a to attract. new busi~esses with I;

Boston;Baltimoreand Atlanta, and is a i the stigma of havmg poor air quality.· ,
consultant.toan EPAenvironmentalexa ' Art Williams,director-of the air dis- •
pos1frecommittee, reviewedthe draft; trict, declined to comment on the draft
report and recommended both addi- i untµ it is final.And Dave Patrick; over- '
tiorial air.monito1ingin the Louisville , s~emgthe studyfor the consultingfirm,
area and effo1ts to_control pollutants would only say that the draft is subject
found to pose the greatest risk. to change followinga:technical review.
~oth Marvin Legator, professor of . Membersofthetaskforceboardand.
environmental toxicology at the Uni- , a study advisory committee working
versityofTexas MedicalBranchin Gal-' with Williams are· conducting that re-
veston, anci Elizabeth Moran, senior view.Both panels haverepresentatives ..
tmticologistwitpjhe ;i\nieric,rn, Chernii;0 from government, industry,the Univer-
try Council;ia1yindustry:frade'.arid; fob~, sityof Louisvilleand neighborhoodand
hying'orgariizatiori;.said the scieticeiti:: environmentalgroups ..
volvedin risk assessment can be highly · THE FINAL report should be com~
uncertain. · :pletedby mid-July,Williamssaid, add-
mg that his advisory committeeand the
task force intended for the draft to re-
m~inconfidentialbecause it _mightcon-
tam errors. ·
Kenneth Mitchell, who directs the
EPA'sregionalrisk assessment groupin •
Atlanta, declined to comment on the
draft report.
ALL BUT· two of the study's ail;·( Formaximumprojected exposures,
monitors were in western Louisville::: the cumulative risk at each monitor
Onewas·at Otter Creek Parkin Meade: ranged from slightly ab~ve health
.·County;cl!1otherwas a,tthe Uni\'.ersity; ·thresholdsto as manyas 10timesabove
of Louisville's Shelby Campusm the, them at one of the CampGroundRoad/
EastEnd.U of:CsInstituteforthe E.nvi-L Rf).lphAvenue monitors. ·..·· _
ronmentand SustainableDevelopmenjj ' DonNeman;environmentalinanag-
has continuedmonitoringat six of the!, . - er atthe Rohm.and Haas.Co. plant
sites sinceOctober2001. · · l :acrossthe.street from those monitors,
The toxic substances agency con~: cautioned that the report is based 9n ,
ducteda westernLoiiisvil).e studyin the: con1,ervativel).sstirilptions designedto .,
late 1990s,condtidinginJ998that there: be protectiveof publichealth. . ·
wasn't sufficientenvironmentalmoni-: .·.:° For example; h~ noted that.it as~
taring to reach a ~etetmiri~tionabo_ut suJnes people would be exposed to ·
Rubbertownpollutionand1tspotential . these chemicals24 hours a day for 7() .
linksto variousillhesses. . , : :.::: - ---- .... - . .years; andh~said that's unlikely... ··
.· "Thelast time they_:wer¢ here; they! .·.:. "Wedohaveseveralof the cl1em1cals ·
sa!d tpey~eeaed more datat.¼1~~~9n)
said. Nowwe.havemore data. .., , ,
· ·· ·thatwereidentifie,d,'.'Nemanacknowl~.
·edged.'.'.We are ver.yfortunat~t~at we
·•··Liz Natter,·an envirofup.ental a}tcir: _.are-~,. ~ln~r player)n the ennss1ons. of -··-----· --·--·--
11,~yactive with the $ieri.~Glubin Ken" those chemicals.", ·• • ..•.. ··•···
tiicky,saidthe concentr11.tions. ofsev~ral
toxic compou_nds.l:!PPe~rto be h1gµ LAST· WEEK another Rohm arid · .
enoughto mentqmck ac~10n. Baas officialsaid the report !ilightspur ·.
"This data is enough to call for re, the companyto speed up installationof
ductionsin what is e:qtitted,"she said. . · a bufadieneleak-detectionsystem. . ..
· - Themost immediateactionneedsto '.. ~.TheAmericanSyntheticRubberCo., l
be taken.in the West End,whose res{. ·adjacentto the Rohmand Haas plant, .1.
dents for years have complained~pcm! ·and byfar the largest industrialsource j'
toxicpollutionwhilefew tookthem sec btbutadiene in Jefferson County,had
nously,said MemeSweetsRunyon,ex- . "·not yet,seenthe draft report and could 1
ecu~ve_direc!. orof_theconsetvation. or.,,I!. .. ____·.,notconiinenton it, said its spokeswo-/..
gamzationRiverFieldsInc.•.. . .. ··.>..· ·'rtu.i.n,:Nan·Banks. . ·· · · :·1
· . . But because elevatedlevelsof~ox1c/ :k. ~~t_;~h,e s~g~estedUiatthe 160,000/
pollutantswere four1dat all mo111tors, , · pdundsof e1TI1ss10ns f~omthe company1
- ·includingtwo tha!ar~ farfromthe West.1 ...__ ...._ __.. •·.·•.inW0.0 m~ytepi:tis.~n!JUSt ~.2percentof/,---
End, shesaid toxicair seemsto be a re- .i .a:11 butad1ene em1ss10nsm Jefferson,]
.·gional problem'... perhaps even in i· .......-:;;\i?:§itijfyf p~setj.on her_interpreta?;?n9.~,
",·nationaLEPAdata from 1996, , :'·.•; 1,1
· ·sotff 4~~cit~~ds ~d;ousands of\ ··~;J~i~~~trytoaig~~ at.thi.swi~~ ope~J ..
Jivesare touchedby this;" shesaid:.The\ ··:1,M[Ilhams, hearrµistnct, smdtha..t
studyestimatesthe cumulativerisks at 1 '?pplyirig.riationafaverages ~oa Pl'!'rti<;:
eac.linoncancer
.of t.h.e mo
..nit.ors.
f·.o
r.both anc.er .\ u1ar city canbeihaccurate.Hisager1cys
and .illnesses. Thec.·study esfuriate,based on the most recent:\11~
comparedboth maximumprojectedex- . formation availl!.ble, is that American
posures and median exposu.res to · · Synthetic:Riib.beris·responsible fo;r I
healththresholdsbeyondwhicheffects . abouthalfto two-thirdsof allbutadiene · .
wouldbe unacceptable. . · · . · 1 ·emissionsJnthf county,Williamssaid;··•.
Forexample,the highestcancerris..k '\
fora maximumprojecteq.exposurewas i{J~~~cJ;
··it~~t<>ftt:t!!~~~; s~ij, ~c-·.
at oneoftwo monitorson CampGround · ·· _' tJ.s:Rep. Anne Northup,R-3rdDis-
Road near Ralph Avenue;'across the i trict, will await the fina~report before
street from a chemicalplantindustrial commenting,saidher chiefofstaff,Ter-
·coinplex. The consultants calculated ry Carmack.If the final r~portdemon-
that risk as 8.4in 10,000,meaningthey strates. a problem, he said she would·
would expect an additional.8.4 cancer workv..ithofficialsto find a solution; .
cases among10,000people. . · U.S.Sen.MitchMcConnell,a Louis•
. · The lowest'cancer risk for a maxi- villian and fornter·Jefferson County
mum projected exposure was in the judge-executive,decl!nedto comment, i
·East End, at the Universityof Louis- said spokesmanRobert.Steurer.... . , . 1
ville's Shelby campus. There,the con- Gadson,the task force executxved\-.
sultants calculated·a maximumcancer rector,saidthat consultantswill present
risk of 1.3in 10,000. a summarytoday of the draft report's
· They also calculatedrisk based on findings,and will provide information:
the median or midpointconcentration on thosecompoundsthatw~refoundto ,
foundat each monitor- a lessstringent exceedhealtlithresholds. /
measure of potential healthproblems. A panel of local experts is :;Jso,
Theseare thelevels whereroughlyhalf scheduledto speak,she said. ·
•ofthe samplesfellaboveandhalfbelow.
· Evenat medianconcentrations,the ·
consultantsfound the risk of potential
health problems exceed what the EPA
wouldconsidersafe at allmonitors.
Risk of health problemsother than .
cancer- from rashes to impairedlungs :
to liver damage- are presentedin the
report as a numericalvaluerepresent-·•
ing howmuch greater is the likelihood
that a person would become ill from ·
these compounds.
..ill

' A ciraftreport analyzingthe're~ultsqf:rn.iin'itoring fo; hazarc;Jo:us. air pcillu.tan.ts ~h.o~(A
ariJncreased
, : .
risk of
. . .
cancer or other
-.
ill11e,ssesat13
•_:•?.•:
..:·:~::.,:_;:::::.:•:,;-
..
monitors:arqund
,
the·cominunity:"';·.,i
·, ~· ..·.. :, . · ; _: .._-·,; :
~ '.: ' : ·..o~r,~_,:_;_.·,l
:this chart .liststhe increasedrisk ofcr,i.r19ej"for 1T1aximum ·projectedexposures.at:;,.:,.;; J
. each.monitorand the particularchemicals·orcornpoundsthatpp§ethegr~a,tE,st,:':'"·,,;J·•··•
threat~.,.The. mon~orwith the highest incre·as~ctcahcer risk is li~tedfirst.Jh~:oth~rs,t;(;:. ·\ .
m
fol.low descendm~order.. .·.·. · ·• , . ( / ,Z · : • ·:, r : ... · .'<:" ·~, .'.7
a
. Estimatesof cancer risk are expressedas p,rpbability,such:as:1.'ihfO,OOO.:.Cc:io¢.?d
1
risk estimate.sare based onJhe assumptionthatpeopte arE3•.exp9sedtothe·chemicalp
or.con,pounds24 hours perqay over 70years.Jfc,,tinstance:Formonitor
........ 2 at Ralph,::::: .
Av·e·· nu €:!=1ricLCampground
.... Ro•?t..d, th.e.inc.rea·s· e...d r.i~.;~;'·fJ·
t maxi'f'l'lum.exppsure.\ivou.·1.d b..e~ ..;..:/,
an addItIonal8.4 cases of c~ncer among 10,09Q·pt3pple. , · . •· ·.· •· · ;: ,~?:
'.Risksfrom illnessesother'than CE\ncer are ~~pres.~ed as a hcµardquotient,Fora.::~;-; '
giventoxic compound, h~~m:J,,r-1uoth:mts bel<?.w J .~f~;_notlikely tqbe as;;,9ciated\Nitr,(
adversehealth effects,while numbersabovei1 showmcreased nsk; Formstance:Al'
monitor ? at RalphAvenueandCampgrqundJ~.oad./1h,e nonc~ncerJ!lnesshazard: ..,;;
indexfor maximumexposureexcEJeds the he.althttire.sholdbyTO times~ . . .. ··.·.,...,
. The.national backgroundcancer rate over yea.fa::is 70 2,195cases among 10,000;:;'.,'.
people, according to the Natio_nal CancerJn~titute. ·.··. _._ · . · ·.·.. <.:~:·
OldLakeDreamland. ,{\4 iri 10,00ci
FireDepartment. ' it\;;

. Farnsley Middle 10,0Q0
);:2.~·-fr1
School
LouisvillePolice . •; '. i5 in 10,000 ·· Chromiurp;.~9rylq~~rile; ··.
firearmstrainingrange · ·· ·· · torrna:ld¢~yd~,·- ···· · ·
. 1,s7butadl!:)ne;
.
_ethyracry:,aie
.
·St.Stephen . 2in 10,000 Chromium:·.'.:''! 1,$-birt~diene, --~;;-::·:;Jt
BaptistChurch fomialdehyde, . , . Jorrnal~ehyde

ChickasawParkarea. {~ h):10,000
~~:=~#{;•
Chloroform;\\, 1.4
manganese·--·,.

1,3~butadiene, ,,,,,,;
-.<:4,
(residence)
. perchlci@tti0ene, acrylonitrile;,
· ,;:;·;:,·
1,3-butadfene, . ·1' 2-dichloroetneneF
. . .. ·:.A)•\·:,
·
acrylonitrile· ,.,
·.1·s~butadiene. ,,,,:c.
i:l/
7unElementary_ .1.4in10,ooo· !~3J~~t~[t~t,}}: . 1.4
-·•.'__·t;".:
·:;:
~~~~
0 ·.a~ryJ~~itrile_

ML King ,/:(Jin 10,000 1,3-butadMh;Jtr:~;r
.
Elementary
School· acrylor,ltriJe,
' ;:, -__i :"
--'-------'--'-----'-'--'---ca_rb_o_n-'te_,.,_tr_ac_h_lo ___ '._,'·--------------------'--"----'--'-'-'"'----'--"-'-~--T,
ri...;.qe-'-'

NewuikeDreamland. 1.3ln 10,QOO 1,3-but~dlehe./:, 1;3-btµadh:~r,e
.·FireDepartment
.. . acrylonltrile;'
,\·'_.,,
. chloroform
1.4 in 10,000 . N-nitrosodi-n-propylamine,
Un,likely-.. ·
~~~:~~ne-~;'Yt:)}t'
·
·:universityof'Louisville 1.3in 10,000 Chromium,'. '
chlorofonh,,'
. _,
'";}\\L.,
ynlikely
Shelby_
Campus
formgldet,yde;:
•...,,
1,s-but~ci,iepe/
·•
-SOURCE:SCIENCESINTERNATIONAL
:e~llution:A proposal
F~~~~b:tg_
.
strategit·s-t<it
offers... aCtiOn: . . ·,.· , .. ·.· . · .. '" . .

ByJAMES
BRUGGERS
jbruggers@courier-joumal.com
· ..shang~ ·they use o;mod-
the ma:t~rials
TheCourier-Journal
1 -···
ify their yroces?~sto reduce pollution;.
. II Usmg political pressure to enter ·
' Adraftplanfol' addres;ing elevated mto so:called.'.'good.neighbor" con- ,
levelsof hazardousair pollutantsiden- tractswithbusmessesthat promisevol- ;
tifiespotentialstrategiesfor action.. : untary pollutionreductions, , ...• .... i
The unreleased proposal; obtained . : JI Providingloans,Joanguarantees, I
by The. Cou_tj~r-Journal, represents,) tax breaks or otherfinaricial•incentives .i
howthe LowSVIlle MetroAir Pollution : .. to·encouragebusinessesor individualsI
ConqolDistrictand the WestJefferson·1 to redu~etheir air pollution:.; : . .: •.• i
County CommunityTask Forcei;ould"L. Arnita Gadson,.executive director i
respondto elevatedlevelsof toxicpol- ..of the WestJeffersonCommunityTask [·
lutantsJn the air. .·•.. •.· 'e : · Force,.sitidthe draft iisk mamigemerit!
· ·It calls for disco\)'ering, th~~soui:ces
of. any toxic pollutants above hefilth ___ _
plan needst9 offermore.specificdirec-
tion..and likely Y?fil change..."It· needs !

thresholdsidentifiedin a final risk as- more meat,"·she said: .. ·.• ..· •·•··._·..•_.· i
- _3 e~slll~J!! dueto_l>~_~e!~~ed '!'he
iilJl:flY: .·•Art Williaqis,one of the authors of!
,t~e . . ,,s.~Wll~will
., j_r_aJtpl~h, .consider
·,·<:··.· -.. ..,,,
..,...,~, rec- I
..·~:c·:.:···-·•1
plan callsfor e~vironmentalofficialsto
red.uceany toxic emissionsto safe lev-. ommend_atJo~s iroiu
when he receivesthem. ,. .'· :• · · .1
th~t~i~.f~rce ,
els. ·. •.
· . ·A draft ofthe risk assessmenfideri~ , .It won'tbe•~ar9, t~Jdentffy~timeof. •
t~ies 26 such compounds, but high- , __ the ~9urcesofsom~of.the•themicals>.' .
hghts four as presentingthe most risk: i . Pollutioniiiveny>iies,for example; :·
1;3,qutadiene,acrylonitrile,chromium! _ clearlyshowthreemdustrial sourcesof '
and carbontetrachloride. ·: l,3~bu~adi_ene ih _Jeffers,on\C_oun:ty. i ···
, . •·~opg the.strategies identified to i Computer modeling can determine :
ho.wmµch comesfrom. motor vehicles.·:'- - --
·deal'Wifl1..~t~vated' h~~otis 'air pollu~I Williamssaid :,· ' , · '·. ..,.· · '.:
tants.are:·,.·'> , .,;:. ,:.,: .: ·.:t':,. ·.· ,
II Continue<i air monitoring. .. : -::m1t other;r, su~h a~ carbon tetra- !
... llt C:pn~uctirtg public health studies l chlorid~,will ~e-mo~l:9fi( challenge...· /
to detefI!U11e whethe~toxici;:oinpoundsi No mdustrtalfacilities m·Jeffersoil•··
ar~ makingpeople $ICk,·.. ..·. ., · . l •<::oun!Y repo~ed,.anyemissi_ons ofthe/
.· ·• Forcing industrial sources to re- i chenucal.to.either.the federal govern•,1..
duce emissio~ of certain compounds.L.. mentor the local.airdistrictin 2000•the,
latesty~arfor whi ..:en.emissionsrec~rds1.-·
~.!l!~~~ ~~o-~t:i?n·~f ~~"'.r~~ap~ns,J are available.. . . , ,~·--.-·
,----·-···--·•-·--.:.....:,.:_ .'·.
· · · · ,_;..
. .. ·.· ·· ·•·.. •·
·, . " ' " \ •.: ,. •;

thi
'

.. Many industries stoppea tising
solventyears ago because of concerns
about its effectson human health and
itwaslargelybanned as of Jan. I, 2000,
0
under terms of the MontrealProtocol ·
· II Conducting a.public bduca:tion: an international treaty that seeks t~
camp_aig~ on how.in~viduals·may be .• protect the Earth's ozone layer..·
contrtb~~ to toxic air pollution,such i The. carbon tetrachloride• fumes
as by drIVlllgpoorly maintainedmotor maybe.comingfromcontaminatedsoil,
· vehicles. · accordingto Russ Bamett,director of
IllMakingsure ~at industryunder- ; r~se~tch f~r the University of Louis-
stands the potential health problems : v1lle.s Institute for the Environment
causedbythe pollution;with the goalof i ,and Sustainable Development,a key !
voluntaryemissionscuts. • partner in the air study and a member •·
IllUsing experts, such as those at ·. of a committee that drafted. the risk
the Unrnersityof Louisville'sKentucky·· managementplan. "There shouldn'tbe,
P_o~1;1tion
Preve1.1tionCenter,to help fa- anyoneusing it." '
c1hties determine whether they can
SUNDAY,JULY13, 2003 ·
-~----------

II ·Ill

I I

'

· . . · .. .. • BYPAMSPAULDING,
THECOURIER-JOURNAL
Industrialsources,includingFord's KentuckyTruckPlant,are part of the reasonfor Louisville'scontinuedpollution,despite
technologicallyadvancedpaintingmethods.suchas these. · · · · .· .,
SOURCES OF SMOG ..CAUSING EMISSIONS
(for Jefferson ~nd adjacent portions of Bullitt and Oldham counties)
Hazardous
VOU\TH.E
ORGANIC
COMPOutUJS NITROGEN
OXIDES
. 211.22tons per summerday,
em1ss1ons
116.44tons per summerday,

Off-road$ources:
% of total
Off-roadsources:
% of total ··
on the increase
(constructionequipment, (constructionequipment,
farm equipment,aircraft;. farm equipment,aircraft, ByJAMES
BRUGGERS
· boats;locomotives,lawn jbruggers@courier-journal.com
' ·mowers,etc.)
. ;Js;noris . Theqourier.Journal

Industryin the Louisvillearea releases
millionsof poundsof pollutantsintothe air 1
each year. . . . . [ ··
· Andamidnew evidencethat toxicair is
puttingresidentsat increastidrisk,a special
report in today's. Courier-Journalshows
whatandhowmanyemissionsare goingup
industry smokestacks. and
out leakypipes. · .
For some chemicals, the
news is good: One umbrella.
category of emissions
tracked by a federal agency
decreased 39 percent be-
tween 1995 and 2001. And
one group of smog-causing
compounds dec;reased 60
· percent between. 1988 and
2000.
But.asseen in the newspa-
per's analysisof three environm:ental data-
bases, for other categoriesof air pollution·
that can cause serious health.damagethe
newsis not good. . ·· .
For example,total emissionsof l;lazard-,
ous air pollutantsin JeffersonCountywere I
on the rise from 1998through2000.Indus- i
trial emissionsoftiny bitsof sootand other :
BYPAMSPAULDING,
THECOURIER-JOURNAL particulateshaveincreasedsharply.Andin- I
Bourbondistilleriessuchas.Brown~· dustrial emissionsof sulfur dioxidewere .
FormanCorp. are exemptfrom con- higherin 2000than eightyears earlier. ·· ··
trollingthe pollutingvaporsthat are The disclosurecomes in the wake of a .
releasedfrom caskswhileliquor ages neighborhoo(lair monitoringproject that ·
in warehouses. revealedrisk levelsfrom hazardous·pollu- •
tants that are as high as or higherthan the · ·
EnvironmentalProtectionAgencyhas esti-· ··
matedfor anywherein the country. ··
The sourcesof pollutionare not limited
to w;est Louisville. They are scattered '
throughout the county. The newspaper's '
analysis of the pollution inventories ·
showedthat the largestsinglesourceof in-
dustrialair pollutionis in SouthernIndiana,
at a coal-firedpowerplant. ,
The newspaperalso.foundthat the fed-
eral EPRsToxicsReleaseInventoryranks
JeffersonCountyfirst in Kentuckyin total
pounds of pollution - 9.9 million-re-
leased in 2001,and that nationally,Jeffer- i ·
son Countyranked 23rd. . .
These pollution yardstickswill play a
key rolein determiningwhetherthe Louis-
villemetroarea fallsoutofcompliancewith
new federal health-based smog and fine •
particle pollution standards. If it does, it
couldbringpotentialeconomicrestrictions .
and forcedpollutioncontrols.
II

I
II
Ford'sKentucky·

I TruckPlant in
2000 produced
1.8 poundsof
hazardousair
pollutantsper
truck, down
from 5.8 pounds
in 1993,said
·. spokesman
. DennisKarl.

Peol)leand econ_orfiy1
at risk in the region· '
ByJAMES
BRUGGERS -~----Allofthis matters becausethe iou1~e /
jbruggers@courier-journal.com metroarea willlikelyfall out of compliance!..
TheCourier-Journal with new federal health-based sm~g ~nd !
fine·particlepollt!tionst?n~ards, brmgmg :
Despite decades of fighting poµution,
Louisvillecontinues to struggle :withbad
potentialecononucrestn~t!onsand_forced i
pollutioncontrols.In addition,a neighbor-i ..
air. . ' . hood air monitoring project has revealed L
Whilethere have been notable success- .risk levels from ha~ardous pollutants_that 1
es ·Louisville-areaindustries still release are as high as or higher than the E1:1vrron- 1.
millionsof pounds of emissionsup smoke- mental Protection Agency has estimated f ··
stacks·and through leaking pipes, raising for anywherein the country. . :
concerns not only about human health but · '½s new health studies come out, we !
also about the future economy of the re- continueto findthat there is no s~feleJel ?f I
gion a first-everanalysisby The Courier- exposureto many of these cheffi!CllfS, said ! -
Jou~al of federal and local pollution re- ArtWilliamsdirectoroftheLomsvilleMet-\
cords shows. · . ro Air PollutionControl District.''Wedon't :
Yearlyreleases of some types of indus- knownearly as much as we need to about 1
trial pollutants in Jefferson Col!ntyh~ve the cumulativeor additive effects of these
sharply decreased, but_others, mcludi1:1g chemicals,even if all of them are in the air
those that contributeto cancer, heart dis- at legal levels." .
ease and asthma, appe~rto ~e on th_eri~e, Whileindustry representa~ivestol~ tpe
accordingto the analysisof air pollutionm- . newspaperthat they don't believetheir m-
ventoriesby the newspaper. ! dividual plants are putting the public at
"Weknow there is an unhealthylevelof i risk, some have already pledged.voluntary,
toxic air pollution being emitt~d in this reductionsthis year. ·
county,"said Tom FitzGerald, drr~ct~fof .._ "We'reloJ}ltln_g_at what else~ can do,"
the Kentucky Resources Council. We
know it comes from the big smokestacks. said Don Neman, environmen:talmanager
We know it comes from the tailpipes ~f , at the Rohm and _HaasCo. chemicalplant
cars. Weknowit comesfrom smaller (busi- : on Camp Ground Road in western Louis-
ness) sources." . . : ville'sRubbertown.
By one yardstick - an mventory of · The newspaper's study of emissionsre- :
smog-causingvolatileorganic co1:1pounds cords showed that the largest industrial
- industrieshavemadea marked lillprove-. pollutersare Ohio Riverpower plants,two
ment. The total amount of this categoryof of them owned by LG&EEnergy and one
pollutants released into the air between,, by Cinergyin Indiana, along with a com-
1988and 2000was reduced by 60 percent, • plex of Rubbertownchemicalmanufactur-
reflecting millions of dollars successfully . ers.
spent on environmentalcontrols. Other facilities- from bourbon distill-
But for other types of air pollutants, eries to cement makers to automotiveas-
yearly relea~es~ave c~anged little or are semblyplants - located far from the city's
now increasmg mcludmgdangerous par- industrialWestEnd are also major sources
ticulates and h~zardousair pollutants that ofpollution,accordingto the EPAand met-
put people at increasedrisk of serious ill- ro air district emissions data.
nesses,the newspaper'sanalysis found.
To devefopits air pollutionprofile, the
newspaperanalyzedthree sets of data. The The SO most
first was the federalToxicsReleaseInven- Kentucky's
tory,require.ctunder the EmergencyPlan- _polluted 10worst
ning and Rightto KnowAct.It contains in-
formationon releases of nearly 650 chem- r counties in
icals and chemicalcategoriesfrom indus~ Jefferson
. 9,941,608
tries such as manufacturing,metaland coal theU~Se .· Muhlenberg 6,693,748
mining,and electricutilities. The circles indicate Lawrence 5,319,518
·
Congress intended the inventoryto let relativequantitiesof air Carroll 4,650,116
communities know how much and what Mason 3,572,819
kindof wastes companiesreleaseto the air, emissionsin counties Marshall 3,488,949
land and water each year.It's availableon reported to the U.S. Hancock 2,857,019
the EP.Ns_Website at www.epa.gov/tri· · EPAfor its ToxicsRe- · Mercer . 2,612,146
Tapping into the TRI, the newspaper
has found that Jefferson County ranked lease Inventory. The· Daviess 2,481,482·
first in Kentuckyin total pounds of pollu- listsbelowareshownin Pulaski 1,785,366
tion - 9.9 million- released in 2001,the poundsof emissions.
latest year for which data were available.
Nationally,Jefferson Countyranked 23rd. Person, N.C. 28,078,514
TheEPAmadethe 2001pollutioninventory Hanis, Texas 21,159,401
available.to the pµblic June.30. · . Armstrong, Pa. 19,778,000
By comparison,Jefferson County.TRI Baltimore City,Md.18,311,656
emissionswere more than four times those Bartow, Ga. 16;613,789
of Indianapolis-MarionCounty and more · Escambia, FL 14,536,817
than five times higher than those of Nash- Marshall,W. Va. 14,423,912
ville-DavidsonCountyin Tennessee. · · Tooele, Utah 14,379,882
Accordingto the TRI, the largest single
. industrial source of..pollutionin the five- Jefferson,Ohio· 14,238;546
cotintymetroarea on both sidesof the Ohio Monroe, Mich 13,879,612
River is Cinergy's Gallagher coal-fired Catawba;N.C.13,772,912
power plant in New Albany,just upwind Hillsborough, Fla. 13,120,121
from Louisville.. Ascension, La· 12,995,295
It pumpedout 2;9millionpounds ofpol- Stokes, N.C. 12,347,259
lutants in 2001.That is nearly twice what Humphreys, Tenn.12,332,303.
LG&E'sCaneRun and MillCreekplants in Adams, Ohio 11,960,696
JeffersonCountyemittedcombined. Citrus,Fla. 11,413,532
"Oh,man, it just billows...:_
especiallyin Putriam, W.Va. 10,504,929
the.summer," said Derrick Miles, a West ·
Louisvilleresidentwhose son suffers from Gallia,
Ohio :10,441,907
asthmaand other lung ailments. Washington, Ohio10,437,735
Cinergy officials'downplayedany con- Mobile, Ala. 10,392,692
cern about toxicemissionsfrom Gallagher, Colbert;Ala. 10,381,248
and note that they have in recent years in- Jefferson, Ky. 9,941,608
stallednew burnersthat emitless nitrogen Jefferson,Texas 9,683,304
oxides- a smog-causingpollutant not in- Shelby,Tenn. 9,650,639
. eluded in the TRI. . .. Greene, Ala. 9,227,090
"Theplant is in compliance,"saidAnge- Lafourche, La 9,143,310
line Protogere;Cinergyspokeswoman.· . Wayne, Mich 8,898,889
Indiana regulators acknowledge the Greene, Pa: 8,756,659
company'semissionsare within their per- Grimes, Texas 8,454,776
mitted limits.However,Gallagherhas been
the subject of a Justice Department and Monroe, Ga 8,389,937
EPAlawsuitallegingthat Cinergytook ad- Gaston, N.C. 8,372,682
vantageof grandfatherclausesin the feder- Mason, W.Va. 8,051,263
al regulations and made plant improve- Brazoria, Texas 7,591,325
ments without adding necessary pollution Duval, Fla. 7,463,729
controls.The companyhas been negotiat- Hopewell City,Va 7,389,462
ing with the EPAsince it backed out of a Heard, Ga 7,365,689
proposed $1.4billion settlementinvolving Cameron, La 7,316,791
_Gallagherand five other plants in .Indiana Richland, S.C. 7,313,768
and Ohio. - --·-· - · ·- .
Berkeley, S.C. 7,263,603
"Thereare a lot of thingsout there in Gibson, Ind. 7,262,138
our everydayworld that are of much Vermilion, Ill. 7,096,175
greater risk than· anybody ever·gives
any thought to;" said Bob McElfresh, Hamilton, Ohio 7,074,059
principal environmental scientist for Ottawa, Mich 6,949,589
Cinergy."I am really comfortablethat Cook, II. 6,933,450
we are not creating a health risk for Putnam, Ga. 6,895,014
peopledownwindfromthese facilities." Charles,Md 6,807,092
Muhlenberg, Ky. 6,693,748
E.Baton Rouge, La 6,641,481
Allegheny,Pa. 6,634,364
COALAND CHEMICALS
Businesses question 01Hren POLLUTANts
reality of hetalth risks ·...
Some substances. a' •••• '

.Jn Jefferson County,.the DuPont
.areon increase
......
the
chemicalplant·in RubbertoM.iJppped BuiTRI isjusfone\Vaytorate'indus~
the TRI list in 2001 with 2.7 million try performance,,. •' ' ''' ' ' '
pow.ids;upfrom 2.i millionpounds in The newspaper also examinedtwo
2000,or 29 percent. It was followedby • sets.of metro air district records con-
·1G&E'sMill Creek plant, at nearly 1 . taining inventories of .several pollu- ;
millionpounds, down 33 percent from tants for whichthe EPA};lasrequired '
1.5 millionpounds in 2000;American controls.It made them availableto.the
Synt:J:ieticRubberCo.,970;000pounds, newspaperuniler,a::Kehtuckyopen re-
downfro:tn1.2millionpounds.in2000;. • cordslaw request, . . .
and Ford Motor Co.'s KentuckyTfuck -~,<L. Tllese inventpries,.currentthrough .
Plant on ChamberlainLane, at 957,537 · ·: 2000,h'a,clcca~~g?rJ.es of.ajrborµ~sub- j
pounds,up from 825,847in 2000. . c,,.;)..stances ~at P¥tlcf!IarlyJ11ake arr un~ i
DuPont plant manager Mike San, .:;healtl,ly,.m~luding:_,. _ . , :. ,:>., .. l
chez said most of what his company ..Jc;"1; ... 11qrouna )e:iyelqz_on~,produce~ I
. emits isn't very harmful, and his plant .,,,~?;:Jargely .by eJll#!Slo~ft<>.m. µiotor1:ehi-.;--··
has littleec<>noajc~centive to pollute. , ;;;;;:,cles,coal~bill11l.µg,, an,d. :vapors.attribut~/
"If we couldkeep allthe (rawmate-,- -- ..,., ,,ed to small btisines_sessuch,as dry 1 ..... ..
rial)in, we'd liketo ~o that," he said/ .,;:;~:;:.c!~*e:i:s ·.~cf,ga$. sj~ti~ns.: :Oiorie i.sa I
"Thesfuffisn't cheap.'~ · .·. .., ,·.,' : _..,7.~?:keycmi;ippn~nt ?fS,~~r,,s.mog. . · ..,,........
· , · Caryl Pfeiffer,an LG~E?~nergyex-' '!:'\- , Jil!IMj.c:r-0scop1c.particles from diesel 1.
J
¢

ecutivewho was the company'saitec 0 ,
. .:,_,
c~~•~,.effi~1.1st,)~~~Fb,ajl@g ~d 'eV(:)Il, forest
tor. of environmental·affairs until re- , -·,.:zi:/if(:lS Jrolll,~.far_~vrai:as?outh,.J\.mer-;\
cently,criticizedthe ToxicsReleaseIn~ ------ -. " 1ca. . ... --
ventory because it does ncit:agc;lress '· ·:"~ '11H'azardciuii' airpollutants,a group ,
health-riskS;which she said are mini-
mal from power plants;· i , •, • -;.
>::.:~~
,--,;••i;•
:of 188chemicalsand,compoundsiden- \
tifieq_byCoiigres~.:as, especiallyJo,q~,\
"Wehave large n1,1mbers, because -,.,.-.such as 1,3-butadiene;.ahuman cam~..-1
we burn a lot of coal " slie'said.. ·•··. · ::.~:,Si)ilogen fr,omindusi:ryarigmotor yehis \
·•·· The coal-burning power plants in
the region, however, are sources of
... ,,c es. . . ...
......:\.,,, . The am.ouilto_fcertain hazardous
,
i I
..
chromium- a heavy metal ideI1tified ,.:.-,.:,:,pollutan,~ mthe arr w~ ~on~ the fai::-1 --
recentlyin a draft report asone of four . "~;,.f _tors that calli!edEPAsc1entistsmAtlan-./
compounds that pose excess risk to - · · · ta last October.to rank Loi.risville-Jef-
Louisville-arearesidents. ,1 .·~,;.fersonCountyfu"stam.ong736countiesI1
Williamsdefendedthe TRl, callingit l· :.;.~ C:in eight Southeasternstates for health " ·· ·
a "directionalweather vane" that lets
regulators and the communityknow
- - risks rromtoxic'cheniicals. · .
·· · In the newspaper's analysis, th~ ·
I
how much of what each company amountof this.group of ch_emicals put 1i
emits,and to identifytrends overtime. into the air steadily increased from i- ---
Public disclosurehas prompted some. • ·-~1998 tc,2000; after decliningfor five/
companiesto· reduce their emissions, years. The district's data for 2001and ; -· ··
Williamssaid. · · 2002were not available. r
That is reflected, he said, in the . Because reporting rules have!- ...•· - -
newspaper's findings that overallTRl changedoverthe years, it's difficultto I
emissions are declining .in Jefferson determinethe overalltrend for this cat-i
County. .. . t\ ; egory of releases, air district officials:
For example, when looking at the said. "It's best examined companybyl
collectionof industriesthat were origi-· company,and a number of companies
nallycoveredby the. inventory,and re- reflect steady decreases," Williams
leases of a core group of pollutants said. .
. identifiedin 1995,air emissions.drop-f The l~e~_source of haza.rdousair j··
ped 39percent overseven years.····•. !
Thistotal includesthe lion'sshareof, poH{!tantsin WOOwas AmericanSyn-
allTRl air releasesin JeffersonCounty,I thetic Rubber Co.,;asubsidiary of Mi-·
· but does not include its power plants,'; · chelinNorthAmeriql,followedclosely
which weren't.requiredto report their:, bfaiihetwo'Ford M:2!orCo: assembly :
emissionsuntil 1998.TotalTRIair emis-, p ts...··,·.-·... .· ·.• . ·.•·, . ,.
sionsfor JeffersonCountywere report-;i The111bbercom y'semissions of·
ed to be 9.9 millionpounds in 2001,a 9 , hazardous air p , nts}teadily inc
percentdeclinefromthe previousyear, · creasedfrom1997t0'2000Jafter declin-
This figure dwarfs total reported/ ing th~ three previou_s years, according
TRl emissionsin Floydand Clarkcoun-, to the. analysis. \'fhe~om_pany .showed
ties in Southern Indiana, and Bullitt! .up recently in an. analysis of air sam-
,andOldhamcountiesin Kentucky. ! pling in. the Louisvillearea published
Though Toxics Release Inventory May12.by The CourieraJournal,reveal-
data are based on industry self-report- ingthat, ofits emissions,thehazardous
ing, EPAofficialsscrutinize company, air pollutant 1,3°bufadienecould be
submissionsbefore makingthem pub- puttingits neigll'\}grsatsign~s~nt~k.
lic, said Ezequiel Velez,the agency's
TRl regional coordinatorbased in At-
lanta. .
.. ·The inventory,he said, has "empo-
weredcitizenswithinformationto hold
.these facilities accountable for how
they manage their waste/' .
- Bufadienewas among 18hazardous I
air pollutants or compounds that the l
·"When I come out, (sometimes) it Thought was given to trapping the-
looks like snowthere," he said. . vapors before they left the warehouse,
newspaper identifiedat levels that ex- Williams is concerned about the btit the industry successfully argued ,
ceed health-based risk thresholds for smallest particles;which are less than that it wouldbe both impracticalandin-
·long-termexposurebasedon neighbo~- ½oththe diameterof a human hair and jurious to the bourbon, Williamssaid.
hood monitoring by the EPAand Um- can lodgedeep in peoples' lungs.These The newspaper's finding for nitro- .
versityof Louisvillein 2000and 2001.In i have been associated with heart and gen oxides,another contributortosum-
· May the newspaper also discl?s~d.a j lung disease, asthma attacj:csand even mer smog, was l!,issencouragingwith
draft report, prepared ~y 1!,V~rgima premature death. Among those who an increasingtrend from 1997to 2000.
consultingfirm for the arr district ~d ·1 suffer with asthma is Jamal Miles, 13, The air district reported emissions of
the WestJefferson CountyCommumty the·son of Derrick and Janipur Miles, 35,010tons in 1988and 33,034tons in
Task Force, that identified cumulative who said he likes to play basketball 2000,followinga peak of 42,501tons in
risk factors from hazardous air pollu- when his medicalproblem.sdon't get in 1993. . ·
tants that were as high as or higherthan _ the way. . •.. · It's not surprising that few gains,
thosethe EPAhadpreviouslyestimated The pollutioncan be unbearable at ! were achievedwith nitrogenoxidesbe-;
for anywherein the country. times, DerrickMilessaid. "Youcan rec . . tweeh 1988and 2000,FitzGeraldsaid.It _.. _
American Synthetic Rubber offi- allysee the haze.Youcouldjar it up and • was "a latedocus of the CleanAirAct,":
cials, along with officialsat two other send it to somebody.". . · ·· . : : · he added. . •
Rubbertowncompanies;subsequently It's almostcertain that the metro ar-.• "Butit is a pollutant of concern,not
pledgedto MetroMayo~Jerry Abrfill?-• ea will be out of compliance with a i __ _ onlylocallyput the amountthat we are: ....
son they wouldvoluntarilyreduce therr pending'new federal standard for fine · transporting downwind"to other com.!
butadieneemissions;Williamssaidfur- particle pollution,Williamss~d_.
ther regulation of 1,3-butadieneby the munities;he said. •
. This couldforce new restrictionson · Fewer nitrogen oxides emissions;
metro air districtis likelyin light of the powerph:µ1tsas well as requiri1;ig r~tro- are expected in the future, however,:
air monitoringfindings. ··. fitting of school buses so therr die.sel
·As for Ford's KentuckyTruckPlant with power companiesphasing in new.
.emissionsare Cleaner, in addition to requirementsfor emission reductions.: -
on Chamberlain Larie,its total emis- .other regulatorycontrols,he said. LG&E,for example, is spending $550
sions of hazardous air pollutants·pro- . · The EPAwill proposeits strategyf~r millionstatewide- and $142millionin
ducedlargelyfrom the paintingprocess · addressing fine particle pollution this
haveincreasedfroin 165to 390 tons be- Jefferson C<>Unty -on new .controlsfor .
fall.
tween:1993anci2000, accordingto air •nitrogen oxides; hl~l~ding-~-;.;:t~cli: \ ·
district records, while the company's . ., nologyat its Mill Creek and Cane Ruri
LouisvilleAssemblyPlant on Fem Val- A SUCCESSSTORY !· ···-·:plants.ill Jeffe.rsonCounty, said its j
ley Road shows an increase from 438 Volatile organic compounds. . spokesi:nari,Doug Bennett. .. ·· · l
tons to 483 tons over the same time pe- have fallen dramatically · · LG&E, he said, expects 90 percent
riod. 1 reductions in nitrogen-oxidesat many
However, company officials say The best pollution new~came with i of its plants, some of which have al- .
they've taken major steps to reduce one group of diemicals that contribute j ready goneinto effectin 2000and 2001.·:
paint vapors, and on a per unit of pro- to the region'ssummer smog. / The newspaperalso found industri~. !
ductionbasis, they've made significant Industrial emissions of volatile or~ i al carbon monoxide emissions nearly :
improvement.For example, the truck ganic compoundsin Jefferson County·: as high in 2000 as they were in 1988,
plant in 2QOO was producing1.8pounds droppedfrommore than 25,000tons in I and higher industrial sulfur dioxide
of hazardous air pollutants per truck, 1988to fewerthan 10,000tons in 2000,· emissions in 2000 than in· 1992,1993
comparedwith 5.8 pounds i1;l1993,said down60percent,the newspaperfound. and 1994.The Louisvillearea, however,·
Dennis Karl, manager of regulatory Someofthe compoundsused in the complieswith federal air standards for .
policy in Ford's Michigan headquar- area include chloroprene,used by the . both of those pollutants,which.canim~
ters: · DuPontDowElastomersplant in Rub-; pair breathing and aggravate.c.ardio~
Paints contain less solvent now, bertown, propanl:l,a cemm~J?lyused \ vascular disease. · ·
which means fewer emissions, said •.home energy source, and various sol- \
Karl,·adding that application methods· vents such as 1,1,1-trichlorethane, and PLUGGINGTHE LEAKS .
have improved,too. · . benzene, a carcinogenicconstituent of 1
· • AndrewHobbs,directprof the com- I ·· · gasoline. . --.• -. -- - ·1
i · Environmentalists call
pany's environmentalquality officein ; Since the communitywas first de- for tighter regulations .
Michigan,said: ''Weused to put clouds , claredout of compliancewith the Clean
of paint out. Somewouldgo on the ve- Most environmentaland health ad~
Air Act in 1972,there has been a con- vocates agree that Louisville-area'airis
hicle and some would go out into the certed effort,especiallyin the last dec-
atmosphere!' · · . much cleaner than du:ringthe 1940s-•
ade,by the air districtand industryoffi- and 1950s,when householdand indus: ·
cials to meet the national ozone stan- trial coal-burners sent up blankets of:.
PARTICULATEPROBLEMS dard, said the air district'sWilliams. thick, dark soot.. . . . ·
Tiny bits of soot The EPAin October 2001 declared The metro air district; in fact, can
the Louisvillearea and Southern Indi- trace its roots to the county's •first
rise by 76 percent ana's Clarkand Floydcountieshad met "Smoke Commission,"established in
Usingthe localairpollutioninvento- the national ozone standard. 1946 two years before a killer fog in ··
ries, the newspaper also found an in- '· The reductions came despite the Pennsylvanialaunchedthefederal gov-
creasing problem with total particu- . fact that one of the area's most vener- ernment's first modem efforts to con-
lates - tiny bits of soot and other mi- able industriesand prolificproducer of ' trol air pollution. ·
croscopicparticles- releasedfrom in- . VOCemissions- bourbon making - But environmentalistsare pressing :
dustrial facilities between 1988 and i got a pass. Bourbondistilleriesare ex- · harder than ever for the metro air dis- 1 •
2000and suspended in the air. emptedby the EPAfromcontrollingthe trict to tighten its regulatorygrip to ad~
Over 12 years between 1988 and alcoholvaporsthat are releasedlargely dress old and new concerns about hu-'
2000,there was a 76percentincreasein from casks while the liquor ages in man health.
the amount of these pollutants that warehouses. · "It is past time to put in place an ag-
were put into the air from industry,the "In industry, romantically,we call gressive and comprehensiveprogram ,
newspapershowed. that the angel'sshare," said Brown-For- of reducinghazardous air pollutantsin
West End resident Roosevelt Ro- man Corp.spokesmanPhil Lynch. this communityfrom all sectors," said ·
berts, a volunteer with the Rev. Louis Any effort to stop the casks from FitzGerald.
Coleman's Justice Resource Center, breathingthese aromaticvapors would Whilethey agree with industryrep-
says the soot and other small material unacceptablyalter the color and taste resentativeswho say that it's not fair to
falling from the sky in his neighbor- of the product,he said. point the finger exclusivelyat smoke~
hood has him concerned about his stacks and that pollution also comes ·
health. He is remindedof that, he said, from cars and smaller businesses,they ·
when he looks at his boat cover. say industry will need to do more if
Louisvilleair quality is to continue to
improve.
~ AmericanSyntheticRubber Co., ,
whichranked third on EP.A'.s
toxics re- \
theticRubber. . . .
Butenvironmentalistspointout that •
eve_n~mallleaks can add up to large •
ermssionsnumbersoverthe courseof a:
year. . . ···• .
And voluntary measures won't be
enough,said CarolynEmbry,who fol-
lows ·environmental issues for the 1
American Lung Association of Kena·
tucky. . . · ...•···· _
. "Our.air-i;Snot clean, _andgreater
C0!3-trOl
1S gorngto be·necessary,"she
said. . · . · , · ·· ·. ·
· With en1:7ironme~t*-.ts,. c~rnpany
representatives,politicians·,and,local
residents awaitingafinal risk assess-
mentb~ed on_the l<;>cal aiJ:.monitoring,
. compames with .high emissions are
waitingto see what it means: to them.

INDUSTRIESMAYLEAVE
. Expensivecontrols . ..·.,·• ,
.could prompt departures. ·.
·"In industry, ·.·.· Some indµstry official~ say they-··-···· ······-···-·------
.; romarliicaHy,we . · kno~ what may be cq~~; and they
say 1t couldcosttheni millionsof dol-· - · · ---· ·-··-·········----·-·····
caltthat the· -·· Jars more.· . . ····· · ·. · ··· ·'
· Combinedwith other economicfac~ ····-··-··-·····-·--·---
-

....ang~Ps.share." . to!s, toug~er 'pollution regul*tions
m1ghtcontributeto s?me ma.kingplans
Brown-FormanCorp. to le~vethe commumtyforlocationsin
spokesmanPhil Lynch, Mexicoor overseasor other states,said
speakingof.the alcohol vapors J?n.ath!l?Miller,envirQnmentalspe-
releasedfrom whiskey barrels cialistWJ.th DuPontDow.Eiastomers.
Thisis alreadyhappemng; ..·. .
Just ~ourclaysafter-the newspaper
summanzedon May 22 _theresults of
the draft risk assessment .oflocal air
lease listing for Jefferson County,and monitoring,ZeonChemicalCo,in Rub-
secondinJeffersonCountyforreleases bertownannpunce~that it wo?ldlikely
of what are called fugitive fumes c- movea portionof its productionto an
those that escape fr~m leaky pipes, . un~pecifiedplant it said had better pol-.
valvesand flanges- 1thas comedown lution conb;(!lsin an unn11A1ed foreign
to monitoringfor leaks smaller than a country,.costingan unspecifiednumber
pinprickand pluggingthem. . . · oflocalJobs. . ..•. , .
PlantslikeAmericanSyntheticRub- And DuPontDow Elastoniersoffi~.
ber have such a large network of pipes cials have·said environmentalfactors
and tanks, and use such·hugevolumes playeda rolein the company'sdecision
of raw materials to make their prod- lastyeartocloseitsLouisvilleplantand
ucts,that it's difficultand extremelyex- consolidateit with a.more.modemone
p~nsive.to stop all leaks, industry offi- in Louisianain the nexttwo or three
c1alssaid. ·· · years. ·· · . . · .·. ·. ·
. . "W~'V,'; a'!eadygotten the Io,wliangs saidhe fears that "peoplewill
Iy.liller
mgfnnt, said Frank Kennedy,anenvi-. d~c1dethat nobody wants industries
ronmentalmanager at AmericanSyn- .with smokestacks." ·
LoulsVlllo Gas & • .
Elac1ric Co.'s MIii - ..
Creek poworplant,~;,··_'
Information ·available
on Web-sites;
at right, ranked · · - ::
second on the ToX•. .~:
ics l;!elease In--..~ .::· ;.
>-;/~.
;e~~~~dg~;t~;- ·
However,nnolhora•::·:-
power plant,Clner--:.:
·:.-:.
gy's Gallagher In~-::·"::
-· ----- ~ --------
Southern lndlana,:-;·'I;.
was the l.ir9est .~:~'.'""
,;
·::u
r:~~1~r:Jo~-~--/
9
In lhe flve-eounty . ·-: 0
www.epa.gov/tri
metro area on both,.
sides Citthe Ohio:.'.:::
River •. ·. •:,.' .. • ·
-- Information on what various industries tell the U.S. Environmental ·
Protection,Agency about what they put into the air. ·
.. www.epa.gov/cBeanenergy/powerprofiler.htin
Find out howmuch pollution comes::fromyour horhe.
. . www~epa.gov/ttn/atw/hapindex.html
. for EPAfact $heets orr'hazardousair pollutants'.

.· .· .www.environmentaldefense,€ll~g/taiDpipetillUy .
1
H9w much.does your vehic:lepollute? Environmental.Defense,an
erivironmen.taJgroup; allows yciuto make the calculations on itsWeb
~~- '' , ' ·,

~~-~c:oh,~card.org
·.·•·.•·..·· ···· · . .· ·.· ·. ·
Fin~ out information about pollution sources·in your neighborhood fror
- .Environmental Defense. ... . . _ .. . ·

www.apcd.org ..· . .. . .
The Louisville Metro Air Poilution Coritrol District provided information o
how air quallty is managed ii,,l,.ouisvilleand Jefferson Couni.y. '
WWV\l'.apc~.org/permit/t!ltutoriaJ/index.html '
TI\eseare amongthe largest industrial sources of air pollution
in JeffersonCounty,according to a Courier-Journalanalysisof
local and-federalrecords.

-:0 . . ,. • .. . -· · · BYl'IWSPAIJLDING,JHECOURIER.JOUANAL
I Combined.with other economic factors, tougher pollution reg.ulatioris might contribute to businesses such as sorrie of these inRubbertowii. making
,:,.P]l:l~ll
to _leavethe community for locations in Mexico or overseas or other _iitates,acco·l'91i,gto one industry. official. . . . :· ·::.·,·
VEHICLE.ISSUES

Endo T \--

ouldi a
poll tant
· .. · ByJAMES
BRUGGERS
. . ('_ ,,... - For ilie category·ordesigiiafedhaz~
. jbruggers@courier-jciurnal.com
·. ' ardous air pollutants, the.analysis
TheCourier-Journal · shows anincrease of 290tons ay~ar.
·. . .
·:·· .: \,
.· . Butadiene emissionsfrom vehicles
. Ending the VehicleEmissionsTest- \ , would go up by 5 tons - a 12.8percent
ing program on Oct. ~1 could increase \ increase, according to the district.
hazardous air pollutants in the Louis- j That's about twice ilie amount of buta-
ville area by11percent each year and ! diene t)lat comes from the Rohm and
exposeresidents to greater amountsof '1· ·Haas Co. chemicalplant in the Rubber-·
tw6toxic chemicalsrecently identified , , town area of west Louisvill~; '
as posing excessive health risks, ac- . . Formaldehydeemissionswould in-
cordingto a new analysis by metro air crf!aseby 18tons, or 13.2P.ercent. ·
. officials: ·· ·
· The LouisvilleMetro Air Pollution
ControiDistrictanalysis,donewith im-. i .•- .. NEW
CONCERNS
proved comput~r ~odel~ng, sho":'s / Vehicles emit
there wouldbe s1gnif1cantrncreasesm : •· diingerousbuta,~liene.··
l,3~butadiene;which cause.scancerand
other health·problems, _andformalde; .. Emissionstesting has been around
hyde, a probable carcinogen.Both are . since 1984on the Kentuckyside of the
componentsofvehicle exhaust. . OhioRiver and sincel985 in.Clarkand
The issue of emissionstestingresur- · Floyd counties in Indiana:The insmic-
facedin recentweeks, afterresultsfrom tfon-and maintenance programs were 1
a:Louisville-areaair m.onitoringstudy designed to help the region reduce ilie
raised questions about whether the levelscifcarbon monoxideand ground-
Kentucky legislatur:e acted properly levelozone in the air. · · · ... ·
when it voted last year to phase out the Carbon monqxideis more·prevalent
mandatory testing of motor vehicles in the winter,and ground-levelozoneis
and what, if anything, air officialscan a main componentof summersmog.
do.to reduce·pollutionfromvehicles. : . Williams and others _have.argued
, "It would appear that for some . that the VETtest is tile only way reguc
chemicals,losingthe VETprogramwill lators can make sure motorists- who
furtherworsen the toxic loadin the air," · . drive 22.6 millionmilesa day in Jeffer-
said Art Williams,director of the pollu- son County - keep their cars and
tion control district. Williams·said the trucks polluting minimallyby making ·
VETprogram catches cars with faulty
ellUssion-controlsyst~msor those that ·
are poorlytuned-:: f3:ctorsthat s~emto
produce.larger em1ss1onsof a vanety of ·
pollutants; .. • .
In fact,the district'sanalysisproject- ·
ed increases in 10 other hazardous air
pollutantsafter ilie VETends, as wellas
·modestincreasesin smog-causingvola-
tile organic compounds and nitrogen
oxides.
Williams believes the increases in
th~ smog-causing pollutants won't be
enough to cause the area to fall out of
compliance with the current national
· standard for ground-levelozone, a key
comj)onent·ofsmog. Loss'of the VET,
however,,. might hamper the area's abil-
ityto complywith a tougherozonestan-
dard that the EnvironmentalProtection
Agencyexpectsto enforcestartingnext
year,he_said. . __ . ,.

BYKEITHWIWAMS,THECOURIER-JOURNAL·
Benifa Baldon, center, and Dave Hicks el(l)lained to Danny Elyar what he
needed to do to his car to pass the VET. The testing system is due to close
· on Oct 31. ·
Seum said thatone of his main crit-
sure their. engines are properly tuned · icisms of the VETis that only 2 percent habits reported in the 2000Census.The. 1
and emission-control systems are of all vehiclesJail. · Louisville metro area ranks 179thofall :
working. But the unpopular program, • District officials,however,disagree, metro areas for car-poolirig,and 52nd '
which costs $11per car per year, was saying that last year, 23,2~8of 41?,~4~ in going:towork by bus, at 10.~and 2.2
. killed last year bythe KentuckyGeneral vehicles, or 5.6 percent, failed their 1m- percent of commu~e.rs, respectively.
Assemblyand Gov.Paul Patton_aftert~e tial test Of those, 17,616were subse- Some commuruties;under pressure
metro area came into comphance-m quently brought into·coinpliance after from the.ERAto reduce smog, are al-
2001.withthe ozone standard: A similar r~pairs. The remainder either S!,lccess- ready mandating ride sharing;
effortto end testing in SouthernIndiana fullyappealed, were granted waiversor The Durham CountyBoard of Com-
was vetoed by Gov. Fnmk O'Bannon were.fakeffoff county roads. missioners in North Carolina in 2000,
thisyear. · · ·State Rep.Perry Clark,D-Louisville, signed into law its Commuter Trip ?e- !
• But now there's concern over differ- .another VET.critic, said motor vehicle duction Program to reduce congestion
ent kinds of pollutants, also associated and pollution.
with niotor vehicle emis.sionsbut for ·The result is that fewer people are :
owners have already paid their share to driving alone and more aret~ilg the I_
which there are no enforceablenational clean up the air throughthe cost of pol- ·
air quality standards. Buta:dienewas lution controls.mandatedby the federal bus, using carpools orworkingfrom;
detected in localair samplingat concen- home, said Audra Foree, a transporta- i
government for their cars and trucks. ·.. tion plannerforthe TriangleTrl3:nsitAua I
trations up to hundreds of times higher He said the.air district should look
than levels the EPA, state of Kentucky. elsewhere- like Louisvilleinternation- - thority, _which oversees enforcement ()f i_
and local environmental officials con- al Airport - if it needs to further reduce the ordmance: . · ... . . j
sider safe over decades of exposure, an . Barry Barker, ~xecutfyedir~ctor of! ..
· analysis by The Courier-Joi:rn,al~~und. pollution. --;;'::>i . ·• · ... the TransitAuthonty of River 9ty, sees ·
Williamsrespondell that.his staff m- light rail as a way to reduce .arrpo¥u~
The newspaper on May 12.identifieda . tends to look for the sources of all haz-
total of18:haza:rdotisair pollutants at 13 -tion, butTARChas not secured fundmg ·
ardous. ~ir•polluta~ts'posi!1g:excess to build the system: TARCw~uld also
monitoring sites that exceeded EPA ······ health nsk. But vehicle em1ss1onsre- ·
health based risk thresholds.
0

Butadienewas·alsooneoffour pollu-
· · main a concern; he said: ·< .··.·· .
.Andhe said that di$trictstaff recent- ----··
liketo bring back~5-cen!pernd~ smog-
fightingbus fares 1th~dm tht=: su"~~!.S.
tants rdeiitifiedas the maintoxic air.risk lyre-examined motorvehicle emiss~ons
factors for Louisville-arearesidents in a of 1999:2oot;ii;t·can•tai~rd .towithout: .
with a new EPA model that recogmzes i ·additionalfederal subsidies; . · .
still unreleased draft report done for the new cai:sand trucks stay.cleaner,long- i
air district and the WestJefferson Ggun- er. . . : .. . ' ·• "Do you cut back on servic(')to pro-
ty CommunityTaskforce, based oritbe .. vide cheaper fares?l'Bar~er asked'. .
··By ~sing the new .modelthe ?is~rict/ ·....The KentuckianaRegionalPlanning
same sampling analyzeclby the news- found that withoutthe VET,emissions,
paper.· · · . · and DevelopmentAgency?Petates th~
I from motor vehicles will increase by! .Ticketto Rideprogram,which lets bu_s1-
That report, prepared by a Vir~fa f_ __ hundreds of tons a year.:_including509i - ·
consulting firm, identifi~d cumula!ive ./ . nesses know about tax advantages m-
·tons of volatile organic compoundsan~ [ volvedwith getting employeesto share .
risk factors that were as high as or h1gh 0
1,034tons of nitrogen oxides;~ ad~i-1
er than the EPAhas estimated any- rides. But the director of that program,
tiori of 4 and 5 percent, respectively, i Kelly Tyra called it a "hard sell" be-
where in-the country. · . . . Both contribute to smog. . ·:
Much of the risk points to industry, cause the financial advantages aren't
In fact,. cars and trucks account for i _ thaUarge, andcompan)'.Qftici.!11s oft~n
such as Rubbertown chemical plants. .--·-·'. ~
. .... -~.;.. - -- . ·- ..
:- )

But some cari be attributed to cars and abouta third of.thepollutants.thatcook don't understand the regions arr quality
trucks. . . . upmetro Louisville'ssmog.. problems; .· . ·.. . . .· .
Formaldehyde was ide~tifi~d as a .·. JimNordmann,.aLowsvilleresident
significant risk at one momtonng sta- who works·in Frankfort, is a driver in
tion - at the Universityof Louisville's· ECONO~IC.P!ERH. KlPDNsTicket to Ride, which has six
Shelby Campusin east Louisville.
"It was irresponsible ... to end the
. i EPA could seek . vanpools workin~. Nordmann shuttles
· 11others 500 mlles a week between
major r~ductions Louisvilleand Frankfort: ·· ..
(VET) progiam, even if it may have
been politically advantageous," said If the region falls out of compli~ce, · Mostlypeople participatebecause 1t
Tom FitzGerald, director of the Ken- it's possible the EPAmay seek a region- saves them money, he said. But that's
tucky ResourcesCouncil."Everybodyis wide 25 percent reduction in smog- notthe only reason. .. . '
always happy to have somebody else causing emissions, said Pat Moran, an ·· . ''.Alot of people,. me m~lu~ed, are
foot the bill for their pollution." environmentallawyerwho has been ac- concerned about air quahty, Nord-
The VET program, he said, sh~mld tivewith Greater LouisvilleInc. and for- mannsaid.
have been changed to focuson vehicles merJy worked for Rohm ari_dHaas: If
more likelyto fail testing. manufacturers alone carry the entire
Buttwo legislatorswholed the effort burden, it would mean they wouldhave
to end the \!ETsaid they have no inten- to reduce emissions by 75 percent, he ..
tion of allowingit to return, despite new said. ·
evidence of the community's problems · ! · "Thiitis notfeasible without driving
with toxicpollutants. · ·· a lot of manufacturing out of t~e coun-
They said they didn't trust the EPA's ty" he said. • . ·
computer model that was used in the ' For Jefferson County,itmight come ·
past by the dish·ictto justify the VE,;. . down to more.personal solutioi:is,such .·
They said it was criticized by some sci- as improved car- and van-poohng pro-
entists as overestimating the value of grams or encouraging bus tj ding.
testing programs. . Both will be challenges, based on
"I think it's fascinating that we kind
of found all these problems the same
time the-VETis ending/ said state Sen.
Dan Seum, R-Louisville.."I thinR there
may be a push to bring it back." .
He said that cars are as clean as they ·
can be, that industry has been doing its
part, and that he doesn't think the re-
gion's air quality is especially poor. "I
think we have come a long way,"Seum
said. '
Drive contribute
)a.rs
to·
in
and trucks run:much cieaner than they did the 1960sand 19705. 8~ they still ~ntribute significa~y to air p~llution, l~ly
air
and ~~tionally- :
, part becauseAinericans drive so much. In Louisville and Jefferson County alone; m.otorists every day collectively fog 22.6 million miles- nearly '
inough to travel 1,000 times around the• Earth. · · • · . · . · • . . . . . . .

. Vehicle
emissions:·
.:fourexamples
. Annual pounds of ···
: emissionsottour categories
• of pollli)arrtsfrom four
.vehicles driven 12,500
..miles.

9.4 3.3
SOURCE:EnvironmentalOefense

lliE COURIER-JOURNAL.
'"lren«fin-groaind-ievel
ozoneinthe.louisvme
area
Pollutionfrommotorvehlcles·and
businessesreactswith sunlight·
. foproduceground-levelozone,a key componentinsmog. •National
standard
"' w ~~
The U.S. Environmental
:· . ProtectionAgency currently.
190 enforcesa 124.partsper billion
. 180, standardover a one-hour
,, 170 · · ·.periodfor ground.:Jevel
ozone.
.Nextyearthe EPAis expected
160 •to enforcea tougherstandard.
150
140

:120
110
100
1971 '72 173 74 '75 '76 77 . '78 '79 '80 '81 . '82 '83 . '84 '85 '86 .'87 '88 ;89 '90 '.91 '92 '93. '94 . ·~ . '96 '97, '98 '99 2000 '01 · '02
SOURCE:LouisvilleMetroAir Pollution Control District ·

.AMERICAN SYNTHETIC RUBBER CO. ·
' \
Jo···.•
I
I
··1· ·.···t····.•
..•·•···· :'.>•····.•.·1•t•··
m··. ··.. · ·
- '• .. '

· ·...
. .. :.•u···
,· .
. :t.·...
a·· ····· ·
.
·:
.·•1···.·
....
. ·. . ... ~- . ·; .

. ByJA~ES.BRUGGERS
.
jbruggers@courierajoumal.coin
·~r \
is
. At is~~e the company's so~called
Title V,pemiit, named after a section of
. • TheCourier-Journal . the Clean Air Act amendments of1990.
The company first applied for the per~
AplanUha:t i~ responsible for more mit six yef!IS~go ..;._in 1997 - b~t has
thari .half of the total emissions of one · yet to receive 1tbecause of delays ,mthe .
cancer-cauiing cheini~affound in)ef- • .application process. Title V penmts are
ferSori'County's air may be the first to _tobe issued every five years. . ·
. face increased regulatory scrutiny.•. The district put forward a draft per-
· The American Synthetic Rubber Co. . mit in December 2000, but it.drew an
in western Louisvillewill have its pend- unfavorable response from environ-
ing~ P.Ollutioilpei:mit re~tten by the mental attorney Leslie Banas of the Jo~
Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control· cal Sierra Club in early 2001.
District following a draft air-monitor- Barras said the draft permit failed to
irigreport that showed exc~ssive levels. clearly. identify what chemicals woul~
of ~,3"butadieneat all 13 air monitors in be used at the plant and iri what q~afl:ti~
the Louisville area, including one of ties as well as show how the d1stnct
those nearest the plant and one 14.miles wo~ld be able to enforce its conditions.
east. The chemical; according to the Wtlliams ·said that a staff shortage
draft report, puts Louisville area resi~ delayedthe review of the draft permit in
dents at excess rjsk of cancer and other 2001 and 2002. In April of 'this year, a
health problems. . .· . new permit writer was assigned to the
. "Amerjcan .Synthetic Rubber Co. 1s project:· .
the community's largest source ofbuta- '½sit turns out, (the delays) may be.a
diene," said Art Williams, director of good thing,"Wtlliams.said, because had
the air district. "We want to regulate one been issued in 2001or 2002, the dis-
and control butadiene emissions as trict would iikely have had to wait until
tightly as we can control them within 2006 or 2007 to consider improve-•·
the framework of the law." ments.
The company, which burns·98 per- • The delay will allow the district to
cent of its hazardous air pollutants, in- . make decisions about butadiene con- BYPAMSPAULDING,
THECOURIER-JOURNAL,
eluding butadiene, currently has no trols with its new understanding of the .
limit on the amount of butadiene emis- . risks to the community, Wtlliams add- ' The flare stack at AmericanSyn-
sions. Williams said he's considering ed. thetic Rubber Co. burns98 percent
several actions, including placing a lim- . Banas agreed, and said the Siena of the company's hazardousair
it. on the company's butadiene emis- Club will be watching closely. It will pollutants, includingbutadiene.
sions and requiring it to operate a likely ask the district to require the The flare stack is the maximum
"downwind" air monitor. control legally required.
company to reduce its emissions and to
monitor for toxic chemicals along its
fence line. · , ·. ·
In written answers to,questions
from.The Courier-Journal, the compa-
.ny declined to speculate on how its reg-
ulation may change under a new per-
mit. It previously has said it has lowered
butadiene emissions from 160,000
pounds in 2000 to about 140,000 pounds '
last year. · ·
Plant officials also pointed out that
they are currently required to operate a
flare-stack that bums· and destroys 98
percentQf all hazardous air pollutants,
including butadiene. It's considered the
legally required maximum controL
Plant spokesman Jim Crowley said
the company would comply with the
new permit when it's issued. Wtlliams
said that could be in December.
· The plant's emissions represent
about 55 percent of all butadiene pollu- ·
ti.onin Louisville and Jefferson County
au:, according to information provided
by the air district and obtained from the
U.S.Environmental ProtectionAgehcy.
.. The company, along with Zeo:iland ;
- ." .. ···:·. ·•---~·
---~--'. .l\
Rohm and Haas. Co., also in Rubber~ L.
town, are the. only three industrial/
sourc.es of butadiene in Louisville. . I
. Representati".es of all three told 1
Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson on May
27 that they would voluntarily reduce
their emissions of the chernicallate last
.month, four days after The Courier-·
Journal reported the contents of a still
unreleased draft report that identified
butadiene as one offourmaintoxic air
risk factors for Louisville-area.resi-
dents. · ·. . · •
That report, prepared by a Virginia

consulth1g firm for the air district:andf ·
the West Jefferson County' Community!··
·Task Force, identified cumulative. risk\
factors from. hazardous air pollutants i
that were as high as or higher than the I . ~ ' . , ' ~FAMSPtJ.JlO!NG.
TrlECCU.!ER-JOURI
AmericanSyntheticRubber Co. wns ono of threelocal Industriesthat told Metro MayorJerry Abramson:ori May 27 thattheywouldvoluntarilyredut
EPA has estimated for anywhere in the 1· th~.i~emissionsof butadiene.The plant's emlssfonsrepresentabout 55 percen~of all butadiene ~olluUonIn Lou!svllleand J~ffersoncounty air.
country... > .. · :: · ..
In ari·iridependent analysis ofthe
same air sampling data, the newspaper
identified butadiene in·.concentrations
up to hundreds of times higherthanlev:-
els the EPA,state ofKentucky and local
!
envi.ronm.ental off.jda..ls co·n·s.ider s.afe..
over decades of exposure ..Ih its report
on May i2;fue.newspaperid~ntified18
hazardous air pollutants at 13 monitor,
ing sites that exceeded EPA health~
based risk thresholds. · · •· :;
Curtis Taylor, a volunteer with the
Justice Resource Center's Bucket Bd'-
gade citizen air monitoring project;
said the communitymayhavea "goltlen
opportunity' to bring about industrial
butadiene reductions. · . ··
"By giving our input, the. company
has to be put on notice to do some-
thing," he said, adding thathe doesn't
trust the air distric~to be aggressive. :
ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS .

We3thercan have majorimpact
on area'SpoUutioJl probi~lll:
. . . . ~

ByJAMES
BRUGGERS
jbruggers@courier-joumal.com
TheCourier-Journal ·

Weather conditions can make air .
qualify better or worse. · • .· • · ·· .
What's good for holding down
ozone; a key·componentofsmog, might
not be so good for getting rid of a cate; .·
g9ry of chemicals and compounds
.known as hazardous· air pollutants ....
For example; this spring's damp,
cool weather delayed the Louisville ar-
ea's arrival ofsl!log, But it may have
pre.vented certain types of hazardous
c:hemicalsfrom quickly breaking down
into less risky,pollutants, air pollution
officialssaid. ·..· . ·· ...··.. · . .
The worst smog in rec;entyears typ~
kally has begun in mid- to late June, of,.
ficials said. That's what happened .this .
year, when intense sunlight, emissions .
and stagnant air in late June prod1:1ced· •
!··
.the summer's first ozone·health alerts: I
This is also the·time of yearwhe·n the · · BYBILLLUSTER,THECQURIER-JOURNAL j
·1
Louisville area experiences its most. se- ,·!
vere episodes of a third kind of pollu- VernaJoirier,·who liveson Allston Street, wants·to knowwhat causesthe I
ti9n: microscopic particulates. . .so.otymaterialthat clingsfo the aluminumsiding of her hdme and the
"It's when the air becomes stagnant exteriorof other homeson her street. ·
that.we suffer," said Mike Callahan, hy-
drologist with the Na,tional Weathe~ times on 26 days last summer. The.area . chemical odors starting in the spring. l
Service. ·· has exceeded the standardatleast eight Verna Joiner, who !iv.es·on Allston
The Louisville Metro Air Pollution times on four days this summer, with .Street; showed areportertlle sootyma-
Control Districttracks all the ozone a.c- the first occurrence ori June 24. ·. t~r!al clinging to the white alum~um
tion days that it calls each year, when it But ozone isn't the only air pollution s1drngof her home, and.the extenor of !
asks people to ride the bus, avoid mo:w-· problen;iconfronting area residents. · other homes on. her street. She has
ing the lawn and take other steps to re- Fine particle pollution, produced lo- asked Arnita Gadson,·executive. direc- .
duce smog-causing emissions because cally fro in power plants and dies.el tor of the West Jefferson County Com-
weather conditions are ripe to push erriissionsand blownin from sources as munity Task Force, to help her figure
Louisville.area air into unhealthy lev- far away as South America, typically out the cause. . · ·
els. · · peaks in July and August, said Art Wtl~ "I deal with this all the tii:ne,"Joiner
· The first ozone aotion·days in the liams, director of the Louisville Metro said, pointing to the blacksta,ined
past seven years were, starting with last Afr Pollution Control District. · splotches on the siding. , . .
year: June 28, June 21, June 10, May 29, • By analyzing microscopic particles Gadson took samples of thesiding. · i
May ,14,July 1 and June 21. This year's detected,at monitors, the district is tty- Williams said black spots on siding ·.,
first ozone action day was June 23. ing to learn more about the sources of are common. ln some cases, the air dis- ·
·In addition; the Louisville area ex- that kind of pollution, and why it peaks trict has linked them to emissions from
ceeded the ozone standard that the U.S. in the summer, he said. . coal-burning furnaces or power plants.
Environmental Protection Agency ex- But one West End residentsaid she It's also possible that the spots are a
pects to begin enforcing next year 76 noticed both an increase in soot and type of mold that may be linked to va-
pors from distilleries, be said.
Joiner said strong chemical smells in ,
the air this spring forced her to close her. '
windows. ·
"It's something that tak.es your
breath away," she said.. ·
The cooler spring weather may have
cont1ibuted to Joiner's impression, Wil-
. .· ;

Iiams said. . . . .. though they may bre_ak do,vii morJ
Cooler weathe_r may allow some quicklywiththeadditionalsunlightand
hazardous air pollutants to hang in the. heat, he said. . •:···~,,;. · ; , · '' ·
air longer by slowing their chemical That doesn't necessarily m~•1Jelief
breakdown, Williams said. Stagnant. from air pollution, though. Once"they:. ·
summer air, however, can·make it .less break down, some of the hazardous air·
likely that these pollutants· disperse pollutants are the ones thatre.;ict wilh .
-~~o~-~e_ir_industrial sources, even intense sunlight to create ozone. · ;i \

TINY POiLt.UTION PARTICLES IN THllf AHlWEBREAtHE:
.
· Suspended particulate
matter,measured
in microns'.
cancausesig~ificariftiealth
'problems.
Officialsare concemeq most about::·.
·
part.icles
thataresmaUerthan 2.5microns,oftencalledPM2.5;orabout.1/30th the.diameter
of a:huni'an
hair..TheLouisville are;i.::
has~eenexceeding ~ national
month\yaverage standar~_of15rilicrogr:ams
pe~cubic.meter:
Thisgraph _illustrates montlllyaverag~
.. readingsof PM2.5 .since1999,showing
theworstconditions in summer
areconsistently months., · • .• , . .. . • : : •···.... •··: · ;
35 ' ,, .

,....;, 301----.---------'--'--,---,--"---f----'-,-,'. --"---'--,"-,---,--'-,------.--·

-
- .. m··-
·(]) '

.,.,.E 25.1--------,---~----.
\. :2
-g
Q 20 '
-.S.o,,-------'--'-----C.,,-·
(D ,.,,.. .. ,f¥.
a. '
-E1s.
~
·gi
,_ 10 i----~ ·~------~--~--------~...------·

Q

~ 51--------------~-,---'-,-----,-------~
Q'-. -'--'---'-,--'----'----'----'-----'-------'---"-'---'-----'---'-----'
Jan. Feb. March. May
average
...........,1999Monthly

Monthlyaverage

.. win - 2001.Monthlyaverage

••·••m• 2002Monthlyaverage.

~ 2003Monthlyaverage
'......
•AiJ,?ll~l;!E ME~HE';V'.THEyJI
.•.,••. ;•. '• ' . ,'.·!
B ol nt odor tr
to indu trial vap(Jr
ByJAMES
BRUGGERS
jbruggers@courier-journal.com·
·
The Courier-Journal

Airpollutiondoesn'tc6meonly_fr~m
smokestacksand through leaky pipes.
· In one South Louisville home, it
came· from the basemellt and was ·
tracedto industrialwastevaporsin sew-
er liries.thafthe Metropolitan Sewer .
Districtsays are linked to a paint plant ·•·
with a historyof regulatorytrouble. ·
· . ..."lthoughtIwassmellinga can oftur-
pentine,"said DeniseFox,of the <>dors
coI)lingfrom.her home. "Mydaughter ..
got nosebleeds: I'd wake up, and my•·
chest wasburning." . . ·. . · : . ' _;
Foxnoticedthe smells after movmg ··
into the house on South First Street in.~·
September1999.With _neighborJaI/-ef
Tharp,_shelauncheda:vigorouseffortto · . , . . .. . _ . _. . . _ . . .... ; :';,,,.
persuade MSD and other government · JanetTharp, along with neighborDemse Fo_x,. launcheda v1~orouseffo\1:.,/;-;
officialsto·take their. odor and health·. ..to persuadeMSD and other governmentoff1c.1als_ to take their odor and:;,i;:(; ,
ooinplamlB seriouilY. · . · 1 healthcomplaintsseriously. ···• • · · • ~::;
Three years and repeated phone -·"· · · - ...· ...
0 • -- - -- , - --- 0

calls later,MSDtook air samples. . ,
The results, while 1:xpectedby the Since March 2001,MSDhas levied; · ·BufAkzoNobeltoldMSDthat, as·of
~?women, were surpnsmg toM~Dof- i $8,250in?Tiesagainstth,~co~pan¥ for I Feb.I, it had stoppeddumpingitswaste ·
ficials:. · ; • . . :. : various discharge and reportingviola~1 water into the sewer system, Spalding
!illConcentrationsof fourvola,tileor~! .tions In addition·MSDhas issuedmore I said. Instead,the companyreportsthat
ganic chemicalsin F?x'~ basement ~ i .than 30 noticesof violationto AkzoNo;;;l· .itswastewaterhas beenhauledawayby
measured atop.a dra.1:1mt? the sewer / bel sinceJ992,when recordsshowthat i . truck to a privateplant in Indianapolis,
system'-:-were n~arlyidei:iticaltolevels; it started operating an industrial pre 0 i · ·· · where it is treated and sent intomunici..:
a mileawayat~ sidewalkm fyontofAk~l treatmentfacilityat the plant. · ·· . l pal sewersthere. .. .
zo Nobel Coatings Inc.; which makes ! AkzoNobel·whichhas about90 em- : Environmentalmatters did not play ,
resin for.iridustpa.1-gradeP,air:tts. autr] ployees, ag~eed in Qctobe~ t? a 11roleinth~company'sdecisiontos~gd,'
plant at 4730C~tten~enD~ve. . .··.··.·r $222;700settlementwith the Lowsville its waste to Indiana,Wrightsaid'."That
"It left a trail," said Patrtck f1tz~er-, MetroAir PollutionControlDistrictfor -was an economicdecisionon our part;"
ald, in~ustrialwaste ~epartme~tfield ! · ·violating environm~p.tal~~~latfoiis : he said. He declinedto explain. · · · ·
operations_managerwithMSD.These\ . overhowitrepoi:tedarreimSsionsfro~ ! . . · :-·,-,
~ere,,chemu::als youwouldnot expectto • the plant.A poi:o,onof the settlement1si Industries have been dumpinglilM;
find. ' ' ' . ' ' ' i to be spent on improvedsewagetreat- I municipal-sewersfor decades-,- even··'
. 1111 Concentrations_of.thesame f~ur-l ment eqw.·pment. to be installedbyJul_yI before MSDbegan its own first treat::''·
chemicalsalso were similarat t!1epomt \ 1,2004,saidTerriPhelps,air disttj.cten- . ment in 1958,Spaldingsaid. '· .·· · ·· _1: ·: ...
y.rhe!ethe company~ad been,disch!l1;g- • forcementsupervisor. _·_
_ , •_ .The largest problemMSDever l1act '. .
mg its waste water mto a sewer main; The companyintends to contestJt.s! with industrial vapors was fa 19~fr~:
and inside a manhole n~l!~_I!!~ry'§_ · latest fine, as well as an $1,180penalty: when the foinier Ralston~Purinas•yl:
ho~e, also a mileaway. assessedto cover MSD's testing costs,t . . bean processingplant southeast of l\i,,e:,;
· The ch'emicals were 2-butanone, . saidMikeWright,Akzohealthand safe-! Universityof Louisvillecampusspil!¢<!'• :
used in paints and glues; acetone,used : tymanager.Wrightmaint~ that MSD: thousandsof gallorurofthe·solverit h~.;,1.
to makeplastics,fibers and other chem- · failedto prove that the chem1calscame. ane into the sewers,resultingin a mas-,
icals;metliylisobutylkeytone,used as a , from waste water from Akzo.He also• ·sive explosion that damaged miles.§f;:_
,solventfof resins and paints; and n-bu- · said that the companydoesn'tuse ace- streets in OldLouisville; · ·.. : ,._,p,-
tanol, alsoused as a solvent. tone, one of the four chemicalsidenti-. ·MSD insists industries that use itf:;'
None have been linked by the U.S. · fied by MSD. · · sewersrestrictvaporlevelsand treaf~r:':·
Environmental Protection Agency or AkzoNobel,like200otherindustrial fluent so tha:tchemicalsand heavymeW'
the {J.S.Departmentof Health and Hu- facilities,haspermitstoputwastewater als don't hamper finaltreatmentat tl);~.'..
man Services to cancer, but all can into sewer lines. The practice is com- , district's main Morris FormanWaste'-'•
cause other health problems. MSD mon in the Southeast. . . water TreatmentPlant in the WestEiif,f;
finedAkzoNobel$1,000in January for Beforethe EPAstarted requiringthe and so they don't producestrongoddts....
causingstrong odors.Noneofthe levels pretreatment of organic chemicalsin MSD must meet requirements of tJ:i'.e· ;
detectedin the sewersviolatedoccupa- 1993,Akzoonly had rudimentarytreat- federal Clean Water Actbefore dis? · .
tional safety standards for MSD em- ment of its waste water first requiredin charging treated water into the Ohi() ·
ployeeswho work in them, MSD offi- the 1970s,MSD ComplianceManager River. · ·
cials said. TomSpaldingsaid.
None of the four chemicals MStF
linked to Akzo Nobelwere in the arr' aF·
concentrations that exceeded EPA '
long-termhealth screening levelsused
by the state of Kentuckyat the sidewal',k,,
monitoring site near Akzo Nobel orjn '
Fox's basement .. , - ;:·
· However,the monitoring detect~~ · ·
chloroform atop the sewer drain·fn
Fox's basement above the long-teifu::·
health screening level set by the EP.Ns···
Region$,based in Phill;idelphia, but be--'
low the level set by Region 9, based;irf ·
SanFrancisco.·Benzene,commonlyaF.
tributed to motor_vehicle emission~;;·
was present at concentrati_onsthat e:x:,;i.: ·
ceed the Region:3screening level. .; ,,_.,.,,.
The women said they were pleas:~·._-,'
that MSDfinallytesteelthe air, and they;:;'
acknowledgethat the odors went awayr,;:·
fo! s.everalwee~ after the tomp~t:'.,
said 1tstopped usmg the sewers. ;;,,,-.,,
But the smells came back for thre'e'··
days in April, and in June, they said:.!.'t:t:,.
-
Theyhave complainedagain to botW·
MSDand the air pollutiondistrict, '.\:f~'.,
Neighbors on such streets as Wel~;:-
lington,·Ashland, Francis and Gillette'··,
have also complainedabout the oc,lots;:o; ·
which·s~ell Hk_evarnish o~ pai1;1tffi;
mover,said Tharp, wl:l.o has livedm the· .
area for 30 years. · ):: •..
Fitzgerald speculated that some:,.
chemicals may actually be volatili~
:enoughtp 1novepast the traps in }J.oihe:;
plumbing. He also said the vapors·,,··•
which came back thi,sspring followi,pg_'
heavyrain even after the companys~s ;;;
it began sending its wasteto Indianapdf
lis sewers, may ·be coming from conit
taminated groundwater in the neigh-
borhood. But MSD has rejected the
women's call for groundwater or soil
testing. Fitzgerald said his agency
PHOTOSBYPATMCDONOGH, THECOURIER.JOURNI
doesn't have jurisdiction to regulate DeniseFox held an air samplerin her basement "I thoughtI was smellinga can _ofturpentine,'.'
Foxsaid of the
'groundwater. '· ·· ··· odorscomingfrom her home."My daughtergot nosebleeds.l'.dwake up, and my chestwas burning." ·

CHEMICALREADINGS
BNSEWERS,_
. ·--- \'
The MetropolitanSewer Districthasfolloweda trail of chemicalvapors
frc:mian',industrialplantto a hou_se
basementon South First Street.
(PP~.,. p.ar!sper billion) · · ·

n!ousebasement'·
4580s:FirstStreet ·
Acetone

Akzosewerline1mtrance
. 250PPB ·
150 PPB
n-butanol· 4000PPB.
methylisobutylkeytone1000PPB
1981 SEWEREXPLOSIONS.· .

Blasts ripped Louisville streets,
spurred hazardous. material law
ByJAMESB!UIGGERS
.... enth Street and Jordan Avenue. millionmdamagesand "millionsmote"
jbruggers@courier-journal.coin . No.o.ne.was seriouslyJmrtibl,ltthere to othei:governmentagencies and pri-:
TheCourier::.Journal was extensive damage.to homes
businesses. · · · · · · ··
and:..
vate individualswho stlffered'damage,
· accordingto MSD. , , , ·· ·
It was a Fridaythe 13thto remember · The cause? An illegal•dischargeof-·· ··· The company used city.Jndustrial !
•..the day the sewersexplodedin Louisa thousands of gallonsof the solventhex- bonds to rebuild its pllmt in 1983;and :
ville. · ane from the former Ralston-Purina then sold it in 1984.Thefacility,withits
Theyearwas 1981: · ....... ··-·· ··-··~
· soybeanplailfOnFloydstreet. ··-· --· ·1andniai.-k stOrage_sil9S ~ong Interstate
At5:16a.m.,ElsieFisherandShirley The disaster prompted the city of 65 near-the University of Louisville
Rhodes were on.their.regular earlyc .Louisville.andJefferson.County.four .. Belknap C;:tmpus,is.now operateq by
morning rid~s. from their West Ij'.n.cl .·•••·
Y:eai:slater t9 ad<>ptt~e co~up.ity'~:, Protein Technologies!hterna!ional, a
homes to therr Jobs at .a local hospital; first hazardous materials ordmance, companythat Schardem descnbes as a
They had stopped for ared light at 12th·· puttfugthe MetropolitanSewer DistricL .·"customer" with a good track record
and Hill streets. The light changed,the in charge of regulating_tl:l~ storagean..d .withfylSD.• . . .. . .....:.... . _
car acceleratecl,.and seconds.later;a.cs . disposalof such dangerousmaterials., ..•. Sd1ardein was not employed by
cording to an account iil The Courier-··, · ·The explosion,·said MSDexecutive ·MSffat the time. Buthe was workingas
Journal,the street blew apart. ·•·· ···· .director Bud Schard,ein,.is one of the · a plumber and welder a.bout a ·block
The blast htirledthekcar intothe air , ·reasons the. agency still closelymoni- ·.• · ·rromwherethe explosionsoccurred,,,
and onto its.side; · . . . .. , tors for explosivegases and limitstheir .:• "I heard a series.of explosions,''he
Atthe same.tjme,1,000feet in the air;.. ·,com;entrationsin sewer lines, . . · .· s;lid. "Wwas like booIn, boom, boom,
a police hel.jcopt~tseru;d:tit:ig for asto~. "Sometiinesit takes ah everitlike ... boom,booin.". . .. .. . · .· .... ..
len Ford Thunderbird was heading to- that to shake, people enough to raise . . He ~limbedup onto the root.of.the
ward the downtown area. The officers awareness, to say we.need to do some. building where he was working and
saw an unforgetta~lesight: a series of thing like this," he said of the 1985·en-. could see the. collapsed pavement of
explosions,·like a bombing run, they. actment of the city-countyhazardous 12thStreet.
told the newspaper,erupting alongthe materials ordinance. Reporters and editors workingthat.
·streets of Old Louisville,near the Uni- Ittooknearlytwoyearsforthecityto day for the newspaper detailed a draa:
versity of Lou~e campus. . .. . .. repair the sewer lines,and severalmore . matic story of .one of the largest sewer !
The blllsts, p<Jssiblyttjggered by a months to finish street repairs, accord- explosionsin the UnitedStates. · '
spark from the women's car, wrecked ingto MSD. . . . . . "Itwasoneofthemostdramaticen- •
more than two .miles of Louisville Ralston-Purina eventually pleaded · vironmental catastrophes I ever cov- !
streets. A front page photo the next day guiltyto four countsof violatingfederal · ered/' said Jim Detjen, who spent 21 '
in The Courie.r-JournalshowedaLo.uis~· . environment~ laws. It pajd a.fine of .yearsin dailyjournalismand workedat ..1
ville Water .Co.worker dwarfed by a $62,500.On top of that, the companyin the.newspaper in the 1970s and: early :
gaping crater fu the pavement at Sev~.• 1984agreed to pay MSDmore than $18 1980s. , ·. · ,
. •c--;.It·;;s·~ni~cr~dible ~~ss?.~;i~ \
Detjen, who now teaches environmen--:
tal journalism at Michigan State Uni~ :
versity, noting that the nonfunctional :
sewer system began to smell and dam- I
aged roads tied up traffic.. · . · . ·.. ·.
The newspaper on Feb.14 and.Feb.
15reportedon the chemical,the compa- i1
ny where it came from, the response .
from emergencyworkers and the ieac- :
tion of residents. !
AU of L student, Gary Sullivan,who ·
lived on South Second Street, said his ·
"whole bathroom blew apart; I.saw it
self destruct." · ··
-------.- --·.,:. - ... ·--. --·.· -·-•- --··- ---- --··---
~

The explosion knocked Jeff Nuck-
ols,anOldLouisvillecoffeeshopwaiter;
to the floor'."I didn't knowif the building
was comingdownonme or not,"he said
at the time.
As fumesbuilt up downstreamin the
sewer line in west Louisville, police
evacuatedseveral schoolsand an oilre-
finery. · · ·
· . . . .. .· COUAIER.JOUBNAL/ f · At 3:45 p.m., what the newspaper
A sewer explosion in 1981, blamed on an illegal release of the solvent hexane, destroyed two miles of .Loilisvi111l~:• · called "The Friday the 13th monster"
streets. It toolt nearly two years to repair the sewer lines, and several more months to finish street repairs. · ·.I)::,::· , had "gasped its last breath."
--·- ... .-•-----··· ·--·. ····---·--~-.:..:... ...:. ---~.--...... ...:__.:_
___.. -.-.·•.:.."(,·•",,'..'.
That's when the last manhole cover
poppedup at SecondStreet and Burnett
Avenue.
·..· Companyofficialsoffered no corlf), ·.
·ment: · ·· ·· · ·· . · ... :~/:_:,.
Sundays coverageincludeda stocyfr, ::
by Detjenthatdetailed the area's mariyf,'
. environmentaltroubles, includingthe:··-
illegaldumping of hazardous waste at~'··.
"The Valley of the Drums" in Bullil.\(
<::ounty,a chemicalbarge accidentand:;:•·.
the headline: "Region needs to take?,:
more stabs to slaytoxic dragon." . .··(;:,'·..·
.· Despitethe explosion,R.C.Watts:of::'./
the LouisvilleandJeffersonCountyCtv~'.
il PreparednessOfficetold Detjenthat~.•
"Things are much, much better.than',,:::
· they
--- _____ ____
were two years ago."
.________
, ., ,--- _.. --
· ~ :-~~". _
• : Thepollutantsthat ousinesses
: put into.the air of Loursvilleand
: JeffersonCountyarethereas a
: · resultof makinggoodsand
: seNicesthat residentsuseevery·
:• day and that providejobs for the
· : peoplewh~\makethem. -~

hi~page includesinformationon the . PROVIIJING
ELECTRICITY
FORATYPICAL.
LOUISVILLE
HOMEIN2.0
T
· ·
amountsof differentcategoriesof. ·
pollulionfrom some of the largest-.
industrialsourcesas they have
been reportedto federaland local ·
Louisville
Gas& ElectricCo.'sMillCreekpower lant
(Thetypicalhomeisathree-beq. use with 1,800s · ·- ·

regulators.
Usingthenation'sleadingoverallre
of pollution- th$ U.S.Environment
ProtectionAgency'sToxicsReleaseI
· or TRI,whichtracks some 650 c
compounds- 11also providesa
how muchtoxic air pollutionis c
makinga sportulility vehic]e·and
electricityto power an avera
Ford MotorCo.'s Louisville
on FernValleyRoad and L
ElectricCo.'sMillCreekpo
the top industrialpolluters ..
accordingto the EPA'sTRI data for
previousyears.
The TRIfigures.do n
entireamount•pf
measuredin po·
plants put out. T
not available.

PRODUCING
A.
SPORTUTILITY
VEHICLE
'
IN2001
Ford'sLouisville
AssemblyPlant
. Employees: 3,600
l!l Pollution reportelj .toEPAfor Toxics
Release Inventory:759,338pounds
!!I Vehicles produced:282,042 . ·
Ill TRI pollution per vehicle: 2.7 pqunds
BY COMPANY
Inpounds
peryearasreported
totlleU.S.EPA's
ToxicsRelease
Inventory.
Companies
rankedby2001figures.
,, MQNDAY,JULYi4, 2003
1

II

I II
i---- ··----·~.,

l
-To ·ir ·struggl to
···-···-·-··-- ·-

o:reathe

BYPAMSPAULDING;
THECOURIER-JOURNAL
JeremyBell said, "Whena car startsup nextto me, suddenlyI can'tbreathe."He takes.severalmedicationsto controlhis asthma.
Hospitalizationshigh tion;he said.
••·,
"Thereis clea_rlya rel!ltionshipbe~ /
-·""";

in some loc_alareas tweenoutdoorair pollutionand asth- .
mat Reddsaid: ·
An EPA report released.last fall'
B! JAMES
BRUGGERS ranked Jeffers.on~aunty first among:
jbruggers@courier-journal.com . 736 counties m eight Southeastern ·
TheCourier-Journal .. statesfor _healthris~ from.hazardous ·
air pollutants,The EPAhas:also sug- :
· Childrenwho live fu a swath of ZIP codes ex- · gestedthat ozonecouldbe resp<msible.·
tending from the West End to Buechelare more -._for~much a~a_qu~~r 9fall pediatric ._
likelythan othersto be hospitalizedfor asthmaat-. ; -hospitalad1TI1ss1ons for-asthma.'.·-, .·.,
tacks,new researchshows. · .. . J~nes,an associateprofessorofpe: .
Anda possiblecontributor?Louisville'sbad air. diatricsat the U of L medicalschool :
· . AresearchstudybyepidemiologistTimAldrich · saidthe mappingshe did·witl:i Aldrich ;
and Dr.FayeJones;professorsat the Universityof rais~s.questionsthat willrequire furs ·
LouisvilleSchoolof Public Health and.Schoolof therresearch.- :·· · .· · . : ·: •·
Medicine,showsthat the mostaffectedareasare in •·_ She.and Aldrich,an'associatepro'.'.
the WestEnd,Portland,downtown,OldLouisville fess<>rm. t!3-e;School of Publicijealth,
andBuechel,withhospitalizationrates in somear- . are :-V°.r~1n~ to. develop·aciditional.
eas exceedingnationalaverages. . studies:that may:start.'toanswer such.·
The pair's research also q1:1estions; ~s,well asto help.people
showed the highest levels of wit~ asthma ~tay out ofthe hospital:
adult asthma hospitalizations , Their ef{orts.are part of a.broader ,
almostexclusivelyin northwest ; healthinitiative to leam,moreabout
Louisville, from the Rubber-· ·· asthniathroughout Kenhicky. ·' ::•• ': :'
town area to western Butcher- •· · . Louisvilleresident Antissa Wells,·
town.Asthmais a chronicrespi- :Vholivesin one of the asthmaclusters
ratory illness characterized by. rn a home at Greenwood·Avenue.and·
episodes or attacks of inflam- . 29th Street,-~011Idgive'tllem a :firsts
. mationand narrowingof small_ hand ac.c~unt,c~efls:blames heavy· ..
airwaysin the lungs. • . ttuc~ traffic _fo_r~.e1tb~rct:ausing or in-.· ·
Aldrich and Jones said a flammg her 3-year-old son Arman's
number of factors could be re- asthma<. · · ·
sponsiblefor the asthma clus- Arn16n suffers from chi-orti~ astt-
ters, includingeconomiccondi- ~a, ari'd'.hi$.giother.said that dust
tions.Buttheysaidtheycouldn't .. ki_cked up fromtheroad and dieselex-
rule out Louisville'soften-pol- . :h~tISt tan.tioQ,?egoodf<irher son. . .··
lutedair as playinga rolein their · ,:,t}feeMikeJ:Iivein a:high pollution•
findings. · Dr, Beverly
·· A newly documentedprob. Gainessaid
lem with hazardous air pollu- · African · ·
tants in LouisvilleaJefferson Americans
Countymaybe a factor,Jones,a..·may not get
:r~i~l~
.·-.........
1e~:iLLMfts$··
'.P.~diatri.c
ho.!(pit~IJzations,
pediatrician,said. "It's not go- the proper
ing to explainall of (the hospi- levelof care. ·•···;.J1e;;::::::t:.~:r~!fAJdrich·
talizations) - and i.naybenot • ·
even half." But she said air-samplingresults that and !O!!.f~s mapped all_asthmahospital
revealedthe highlevelsofpollutantsmakeher sus0 ... adm15:>1ons for JeffersonCourity.resf-:
picious.· · .dept11 20.QQ
1.1.1 and 2001.
~It'sworrisome,"Jones said. ·.·' pie stu_dyfOUJ?.d tiiatra1ei
for pedi-
Dr.StevenRedd,chiefofthe air pollutionrespis atn(!_hosp1tahzat1ons from'asthma in
ratoryhealthbranch ofthe NationalCenterfor En-. the¢ain do.wntownZIP code
m 2000
vironmentalHealthat the Centersfor DiseaseCon- . an_d~0,0lw~_retliehighes't;~tnear
trol and Preventionin Atlanta,said other research .. twicethenatiqnalaverage,\vhilesome
has shown a link between elevatedground-level• ,of the other ideritifiedZIPcodeswere
ozone,a key contributorto smog,aridemergency · 15 to _36times higher than inthe east-
roomvisitsfor asthma attacks. · .>em_JeftersoriJ'.ourifycityofJ:i/ospect,
Studieshave also correlatedasthma emergen- • ~ht~hhadarngng fhe.,l<>\Vest h0spital-
cy room visitsto high levelsof fine particlepollu- : izat1onr.:i.tes_ /;_:!
inthe c6~n.ty.; .
. '

. "'·'°TT1et?tal I\u,mbe:~tofcp~qia,t:ric
hos-
. :Plt~izationsoverthe j:wo,yea:rs}anged
::fromOto 38,·depe:r1giiig' ori';theZIP
code. But t~e _researcherscpi:npared
th?se adm1ss10nsto the number of
childrenin each ZIPcodeand then de-
tenn~ed arate basedon a conii.honde-
nommatorof 100000. . -0~
Those: rates 't~pp~_dat§72 per
100,000for ZIP code 402-02followed
by 435 in 40208,292:fo.40203 .243in
40212_and242 in 402UL · ' · •··
Al~rich and Jones consideredev-
erythmgabove 160per 100;000to be
b1gh;the other ZIP codesthat exceed-
edthat rate were 40220 (168)·40211
(194);40210 (183);40204 (18,0)and
40215(180). . ·
.·; :i1'l'ai:fonally,pedia1:ri6.asthmahospi~ ·.that adult smokers in his childhood ·;,.How.~:ver, he willnaveto ..vait. .<
.talizationsJncreased from 160 per home didn'thelp'his condition. . . ; :T~~Nn~ ofstuciyconducteqatUSC: .
0100',000 in 1980to 290·in1999;accord- ·•··•.Buthe blamedLoµisville'sair qual- costs\nulhons.of.dollars arid takes.
jng t,oth~ Centers for Disease Control . ity prqblems for triggering at least many;years,G?.tjderman·said. · · . · ...·
and Pteveptiqn.. . ·· sqine of his asthma attacks. From his Jones arid Aldrichused their map~.
< Natiorially,.asmany as 6.3 milli?n . fromein.theWestEnd, he couldwatch .. ping ,df th:ea~thri:l~dusters in an at- '
•<:hildren~ 9:percent ~ have the 1ll- smoke.billowing toward Louiijville i tempt last year to get a CDCgrant to \.
a
pes$,.accordingto recentreport on )frQm a,large coal-fired power plant / stti.cly, the poUutiqiiaspects of Louis- ,
viqefasthma, but their proposal was •·
en.vironmentatchealtqfrqm the EPA. ,.iictc[ss:.the·ohlo River near:NewAlba~·j
'Ql~fha~ ~Q\Vll frmn an 'estimated 4 ;;:wr~tM<It1"~·d\~~el:llienirigjor tnetriI _.riotJ\l,rtcled: Aldrich said the CDCin- .·
,percent of cnildrenJn 1980.. · .• \'!l.e'<:lfth~mpumpmg out the;:smoke.I 1 tendgd tq select twoprojects but ofl5 • •
:··•'"Jonessaid shef'l\'QJ;tdered whether •··didn'fliketo be out there." · r .......· proposals/'.! don't Wnk:we were defi~•
.aufomobile,andJrucl5.~x.batistmight '•',··-~Wr?If>uisvillewas out:ofcomplF•I cient,"Al~richsai<;L"Wewerejustii.ew.: ..
..·explaiI1thAhjgh?;i,rat'es,(a:fter noticing kidsinthefray/'.~ ·•'.· · · ., • ··.· '; ·.·.·
~t;}lP.Q;~,:;'ifi!#.Qt.t
~~X:~)grJ~µndlevt:l•.:1 0

..· .Whilethe two'.saythef will contm~·
that fre~)Y?,;¥§Jnterse.et wany; ofthe '•,ozonestand. ·morethantwo dee<
ZIP codes;with greater levels of asth- :.~O:es/pm:Jik,G9 Zfµtocorni>HiiH;e:rn;J ue to explore the ·polfotion angle in·
ma, <''/// ..·..· ·.•.,: .·..·.·•C'\( . ; . ?9QL):l~t t}-ie·r~,m.orf
has cqntiiiuedto:: f, · sm,allresearch projectsby tapping ~he.
.. Whileair.pollutionis one potential : exceei:la,totighet o:i:oI).e standard es- I ··· · . servi.cesofmedical students, they're :
factor;the researchers.arefiridingthat Jablishedi:ijJ~97JgattheU.$.Environ;. ·; ·retoolingfora majorgraritproposalto
· the ZIP codeswith higlj,M,c!yecyhigh ·mentalprotection .t,\gencysaysit wnn.
·focu·smore generallyon preventionof :
rates of a:sthi:naadmissions also have
higher-than,~11,verage,fates of poverty,
:lfegih.efif
6rc;ipgne'kt,ye.ar., • >; ... I
~,:J1r-themetro· area:.:t .-.;ari;.estimated t· ..... .•.
.>
sym])t{)ms.:
.•.
·· · ·
_:__;_____:.. ____ · · ·
• ',. • - • •• • > • , . -: • . .-. •
----- ·~·· • • ~
·srp.okingand illiteracy.Som.eare p~e~ l~,000chil,dren•anq 35i000adi.µt~hav~;[
dominantlyAfricanAmerican; · . ·· ,a·sthllla;isaici,C'/1\olyn:Emb:ry, .:who•·•., __ ··
These factors taken together, they ita:cks enviioi:imenfalissiies,forthe.·l
...$ay,mayreduce'afamily's access to
·healthcareand the abilitytotreat asth~ ~;;~~:f~L~~r~s.o~at~t}t-¥en~
.l ...... .
ma successfullyat home, which could . ·· :~;rheJactthafw'ehavebadairiscer~ •
preventh.9spitaliz1;1tiqns; They_alsofol- tainly a.cause for concerij/if ncit ·
lowriationaltrends fofurban areas. alarm)' she said: "We need'to•takec'
Studies suggestthat AfricanAmer~ steps to protect the health ofci~F.Citi':;
;;
icans, who are more lik.elyto suffer .., ·
from asthma, may.not always.get the j
;z:enst ·.; . . . ·•· . ·,~::.<,,,
.
··· Sqme rese~rchers.are focusn:i1fori:.•
proper medkine ..to treat. their .symp- i ' indoor air}iuality,including the pres?>
toms, said Dr.BeverlyCrames,aLo~IS:.l ence of.tobacco smoke; dust.mites,/;;
yille p~di.a.frlcian;md a former vice l cockr~a,chesand allergies.,Othersare/;
. pre~i~entof the ~atiop.a,\1\1,edical ~- \ lookingafoutdoor envircimn!!ntiu poHt
sociation,a group Qfabout25,000Afn° ! \utants, fi;omdieselemissionsto smog~,,'i -
·can~:A:mericai1physicians. ··· . · • ! causing«;>z<>11~totiny p~cles ofsoot. .:•I
. '''''.The greater burden ofsickness I · . Atthesametime,researchh.asbeen·.;
a:nd death from asthma in African less·conclusive 6n:the. question oF •·•
Americans is no doubt:a complex is- whether air pollution can acft1ally'•··
sue. However,the. differences in the cause new.asthma cases to o<:cur;said .••
wi:tys:J\fricariAmerica,nsare treated Redd,withthe CDC::. .. . ·.. .... . :. ,
a
appea(t/'.rbe c;ontribµtingfact()r."·. . But.one re·centstudy iri Southern ' 0

>S.he.i~d,fQr,ex!J,Il1ple, tbat4frican · Californiahas connectedthe two:·· ·..· ; , 1· ·
Arrie'ri,ca1;1s
sometimes don't get the . . A Universityof Southern California ••·/
SaJ;tl~,l~V,~l
or riot :.··
of:~;:i:i;e
..
as .PeQpl~in other
group~'7'fy.rheth.,ertheyhavem~urance
· • .· . . .
study publishedlast year in the medi:. · 1···
•cal journal Laneetfound that children:
· who competein sports in communities..·· ...
I
"Weneed foexainine the medical with 1horeheavilypolluted air were tip··~
sy§f~mfFiJndjI).g issues affect howpeo- to th.reetimes more likely·tobediag-
plf:~;~t~en car¢.9f.'\ • · · ··., ·.•· , nosed with asthma than other chil- ·
··ctren. · ·· · · •.
"ITWAS
DBSHEARTENING"
.. · The results based on air pollution'.:
data and medicalrecords fromJ:heLos ..
Lo'a'iisliiile
native sees · · · Angeles·are::1 wouldlikely applytooth,
'impacw~,
poah.itfoo
•·. er regionsof the countrywith high lev- '.,
els of ozone, said associate professor . t
jiati~e iiri Walker,who .
. I.oi11sville Jim Gauderman, an epidemiologist i··
grew up in theWest End an,dattended ..andstatisticianin the USC Depart-:,!
high scl100Ldowntown and has suf- ment of PreventativeMedicine. !
fered from asthma for most of his life; .''Ozoneis ozone," he said. "If that !
agrees that a variety of'factors likely truly is the.badplayer,then ozoneany~..J
contributeto his illriess. .. , , where otightto carr,ysome.risk:)', ..··. !
· The 19-year-oldEastem Kentucky ' Di Rice-Leach,Kentucky1s.public ..
Universitypsychologymajbrand track health director,said he wantsto know · '
an:dfieldathlete saio.he might have in- what's responsibleforLoutsville'sele- . •
herited asthma, and acknowledged \ vated asthma levels. "If I don't know
what is causing it, I don't know how to
prevent it; Any research that would
nail downthe cause orcauses.opens
the door to preventirigit."
..,.
$!
$1 A~bma :
- -,no_
,\t'b:r::~1w1tlI\\,
.. ~•~;....•
,;
_.,."~•.~
.,
$:
"i
Tlie NationalHeart,Lung andBla.qd
, lhstttutehas establishedj:1atioha:t·.··
~ ·.
• I
i
Asthma is an incurable but
treatable chronic lung disorder.
. ~,
•!

'/;I
I : Q.oalsfodheproper rria'ijagem13,r\t·L
of asthma,but a new ~tµdy~f)pws.•• .
. f_t\§tthose
· ;.'e j
:r;iotbein.grtiet.. ~ ,
.goalsarE:l
'.i /!
Airways in the lungs, called .
.:1 : N~tional · • ::·., i,>{· ·
bronchioles, becemerswollen,:
clogged and overly sensitiveto
environmentalchanges such as
~,
•i
•:
:gpals
{·. •
:.<:i,ii
,_.''}'.·)
: /.~:~
"•1

poli\Jtionandpollen.·AttaGk$can:
range from .slight breathlessness
...
[
. <ii_[
.
to respiratoryfailure.
. .
.~;
~:
~~
ii
=::~iflli~1~~i~i
• Dlfficultybreathing.•·. . .. ..
.. r-•-·-·--·--·-----·-
•·
~
I

--··--·-·-·-···
:1gg~_§f9ilm.iic!~-4!~1'~i~·
··~
illliWheezing. .
· Trigger;u1f
attack~·
ilif¢.9D~~mauatWif~~1itY~~~~
·. ..•.. ... . ... .. . .~- .

. •. .

••
, .....
·@

••
$
.~
·' $
·.'. ""'·
· 48 percentlimited
Maintf,l.in· iii sports/:. .·._ ·
normal ·.•.
recreatioil•,:35· . - ·· .. ,;.
_:$
-~..;~·•-•- activity·· · percentlimitediii · $.
., levels . normalphysical It:
exertion;25 • ·
·• About5,dOQ are
cases reported,
C,

• _ percentlirnttedin · e
.. eachyear in the Unite.dStates
h

,•
.socialactivities. · · · ' ii, l.
'··'!,
~
.\
I
•• !

..
·,ji·
·,i,

-~
··. $

-~
Is . , •...

·sia
"'··.
··•·
·~

.. lt,-
souFicE: AMA ENcvciLOPE tA• o;:<..
MEDICINE;ASTHMAI~ AMERICA,SURVEY
.$
t"f
!it .• OF 2,509 ASTHMASUFFERERS; 512; . $·.
... ~·,J DOCTORSAND 1,000MEMBERSOF
<,_,
. i ···~
.. ·.:
.GE]',IERALPUBUC,:

GANNETTNEWS§ERVICE

. ~ '


· _ . _ _ _ . · . . . . BYSAM.UPSHAW
JR.,JHE;COURIER..JOlJ8t,IAU
Jones studied asthma hosp!talizations in Louisville and found high number~ ir:i
"oriFayeJo~~;, ~hecked,Joshua and Saman_tha_Wh!l_e. iion,e:'.11}a~;j:
. ,. - .. - .. - . • . . " . •.-,.,_,,,.
.•,,...,, ..a.,c- ... - • - .., • - . - -· .• ·,-. - - . ~ ----. ___
:.. ,.:.::.:~~~-~-~-=--- :;..,:·
.;::, :- '.-~:~~-:;1\>:··.
~:~~/ '.:'f~-~~·:-·

. · . . · .BY.PAM
SPAULDING,
THECOURIER-JOURNAL
Jon Walker,who grew up in·theWest End and attendedhigh,schooldowntown,has suffered.asthma mostof
his life. Fromhishome he couldwatch smoke billowing
.
toward Louisville
.
from
.
an Indiana
I
powerplant.
.........
____
·9 Moret~an209cas.es@er100.,000.
c«:bil~i'~!l
':. :.:
.. rt!P89-208casesper1oo;lioo
children
i.·'!11160 to188casesper.100;000
children.
OCTOBER26, 2003 i
-S-UNDAY,
-- -- -----------


...
"
.."
".. -
"..
••
•..
""•·
"•..-
..•
0 -------------------------- - -----
·--~------~-
- --· ··~ --- .
·-
••
"•"

A six-pagespecialsection
Environment, todayexploresthat conflict,
Rubbertown'shistory,its fu-
_competition ·, ture,and viewsof someof its
workersas part of a two-day _
maydetenriine series.
Tomorrow'sinstallment
· ·

plants'future will tellreaders what hap-
penedto a Louisiananeigh-
borhoodthat was next to a
Fromthe solesof.your · chemicalplant and aboutone
shoesto the paint on your Louisvilleneighborhoodthat
houseand the plastichoses is in a similarposition:
and tires on yourcar, the
chemicalsand other com-
poundsmade atthe 11plants .
_. atthe heart of Rubberi:own are
intertwinedwiththe livesof a
largelyunknowingpublic.
Theplantsalsoprovide
·· 2,200jobs, somepaying
$60,000a year or more,yet "I
don'tknowif peopleevenhave
a sensefor howmanypeople
actuallyworkin the chemical
industryin Rubbertown,"said
MikeSanchez,managerof
Louisville'sDuPontplant.
Whatthe publicdoesknow
is that the plantsin western
Louisvillehavecontributedfor
decadesto the pollutionin the
air theybreathe.Withrecent
studiesindicatingthat some
toxicemissionsfrom Rubber-
townreach acrossthe commu-
nity,the plantsare becoming
evenmore of a focusfor peo-
ple tiredof odorsand fearing
for their health.
"Peopleare just sickand
tiredof this,"saidMetroCoun- ·
cilmemberCheriBryantHam-
ilton.
It's a conflict- the struggle
betweenprotectingthe com-
munity'shealthand the health
of a significanteconomic SomoresidentsJnweslemtouisv!lle, foreground,wantchemlcalcompaniesIn the
enginethat's facingincreasing ~~.~b~~~~-'-~~ustrlal area, top, to furthorcleon !heir plants' arremissions.
, .• .; _..,z
..•;~·
..:.::::~~-:,
overseascompetition.
ANXIETIES AIRED

-----
ompani s less assur d
- ----- - --------- --- -- .: ---.. --------.

ByJAMES
BRUGGERS ··· State Rep. ReginaldMeeks, a ;
jbruggers@courier-journal.com during WorldWar II, according Democrat who represents the \
TheCourier.Journal
· to interviewswith longtimeresi- area said that for many years, '
dents, published reports in The residents didn't feel free to ex-· ;
When a Rubbertown chem- Courier-Journaland a landmark press such complaintsbecause ?f
. ical plant announced a year ago air-pollution study done in the · concerns about Rubbertown-s
·that it was movingto Louisiana, 1950s. · .· economichealth. ..·. . ·
Metro Council member Cheri i- And despite large cuts in : "It's almostas if we're not sup-
.BryantHamiltonsaid she hpp~d I plant emissions over the dec- posedto speak up on these issues
the closing would reduce toxic i ades, the levelof discontenthas because of the threat they may
air pollution and be the first of 1 · continuedto rise, fueled in part leave,':Meekssaid. · ·
"manyto come." . 1
recently by revelations about But that's changing, he said,
Her comment sent a chill I toxic compounds in the' air and adding,of the plants:"Ithin~they
through managers and workers !•·. safety concerns related to the
Sept. 11,2001,terrorist attacks. will leave anyway,once their eco-
nomicvitality is over."
at 11piants .inw~stern Louis-
ville's Rubbertown industrial f
I· · For.example: •. . ,
Tom FitzGerald, a Louisville
lawyer working on the Noveon
area, which collectivelyemploy, : II A Courier-Journalanalysis lawsuits and director of the Ken-
about2,200peoplewith average ' ' of air sampling mostly in west- tuckyResourcesCouncil,an envi-
annualpay of $50,000. · ern Louisville from 2000 and ronmental group, agreed with
"It was really disappointing 2001identified 18 chemicalsor j Meeksthat things are changing.
that an elected official and re- · compounds at concentrations ! · "You are starting to see the
spectedperson in the communi- that greatlyexceeded levelsthat ' confluence of issues that have
ty would only see the negative local, state and federal officials raised publiccon~ems,~d rais_ed
things and.not the positive consider safe. The highestread- public frustrations, he sa1~.
things - the jobs, the revenue ings were near Rubbertown.·· "People are now able to see i_n
andtax dollars,"said DanHicks, ... II A privat~.~.i:msultant's black and white that iI1fact their
spokesman for the Rohm and concerns are legitimate. ·
_H!~ Co.pl~t on CampGround.j air
draft analysisofthe same sam-
ples projected cumulative risks
"I would suspect that unless
industry comes forward with ~n
Road."If that impact isn't being
seen, then I guess we're not do- -
I over decades·of maximumexpo-
sure that were, at some monitor-
aggressiveplan (to redl!,ceerm~-
sions quicldy)... they will be dn-
ing a good job of getting the ! ing sites, higher than the U.S.En- ven by the courts to do so."
word out." : vironmental Protection Agency
Hamilton, D-5th District,' had previouslyestimatedfor any- Meetia,g a need
who re.presents northwest i where in the country.
Louisville;acknowledged rais- · Iii Since the Sept. 11attacks, had its costs I

..ingeyebrowswith her remarkto workers and neighbors have ex- The hist01yof Rubbertown~e-
l
· The Courier-Journal last year pressed fears over sec11rityand gins more that 60 years ago,with
aboutthe pending closureof the safety inside some Rubbertowil the government spending $92.4
DuPont Dow Elastomers plant. plants and at a rail yard next to an millionto establishfivesynthetic-
But she defended it by noting ' elementaryschool. rubber plants in an industriala~d
that her western Louisvillecon- ' II Lawyershave filedtwo law- farming area just outsidethe city
stituents are frustrate~ and_be~ suits against the Noveonplant on limits.By1944the plants employ-
Bells Lane following a chemical ed 4,000 people and :,y,erethe
lieve that Rubbertown compa- releasethis summerthat sent acid world's leading supplier of the f
niescoulddo much moreto low- vapors into a nearby neighbor- product. . .. . ..
er emissionsand operate safely. hood. And the Rev. Louis Cole- The location was ideal, said .
"Peoplearejust sickand tired man and his Justice Resource Charlie Hunton, a former Rohm
of this," she said. "Welove the ' Center, backed by new support and Haas employee who now is ·
area. We don't want to move." from national environmentalex- facilitator for the Rubbertown •
The uneasy chemistry perts and Greenpeace, are con- CommunityAdvisoryCouncil,an
among Rubbertown officials, ducting their own air testing and industry-supported group of .
workers and their residential are asking the companiesto pay plant managers,governmentem-
neighbors is long-standing. It , for relocating residents who live ployees and local residents.
began even as Rubbertowntook near the plants. There·was ample grain alco-
shape in the early 1940sas part CarolynQuinn,a 43-yearresi- hol from Shivelydistilleriesthat
of the federal government's ef- dent of Sunset Avenue.less than could be turned into butadiene, a
fort to produce syntheticrubber two miles from Rubbertown's keyingredientin makingsynthet-
BellsLane plants, said neighbors ic rubber.Electricity,workers and
just want something done. "Alot transportation we~eplentiful.
of times we can't enjoy the out-
doors because of the air."
But emissionsfrom the plants "I willneverforget
quickly'became a problem, said that day,"said Iva
fom Owen,a Louisvillehistorian Upshaw;whose
husband.survived
who was born in 1939- the year explosionsthat
his parents purchased a home in · killed12 peopleat
the Parkland.neighborhood, the DuPontplantin
1965.She heardthe.·
·withintwo miles of Rubbe1town. explosionsfrom
"I remember my mother com- .her home, about
. plaining of what we called soot, two milesfromthe..:
just overlayingthe furniture ev- plant.
ery two days,"hesaid.
Governmentdocumentsshow
tlie city and Jefferson County
were tackling Rubbertownemis- .BYJAMIERHODES,
sions, alongwith other industrial . SPECIALTOTHE
sources of pollution, as early as .COURIER.JOURNAL·

the mid-1950s.A report by the
U.S. PublicHealth Servicefor lo-
cal governmentdated 1956-1957,
for example, called for new re-
strictions, although iL_described This means fewer foiiisville
pollution in Louisville as no families receive direct financial
worse than other cities. · · benefitsfromthe companies,and i
While the report reniarked , Company officials "treat us I
it cuts into political support for pretty nice,"·saidHelen Haskett,/
that at least the poilutionwasn't 1' the plants, FitzGeraldsaid.
killingtrees and other vegetation, I ___ _ who represents the' Riversidei
A history of spills, accidental Gardens area on.the Rohm and\' ·..
it oointed out that residents east I releases and explosions at the
a:ridnorth weie I Haaspanel. .. ·. · ·
,,~. of Rubbertown
. ········-··· ~---:·.--:s-•• plants that have resulted in Other companies have fol-I
complainingabout "tear-produc- deaths or evacuations,have exa- lowed suit, either starting or ex-!
ing, nose-tinglingor cough-caus- cerbated residents'·fears. panding their outreach and to- I
ing pollution." · , · Even long-agoincidentskeep gether cr7ating ~he Rubbert?"".111
Over the years, the issue of some residents on edge, such as ·! · CommumtyAdvisoryCouncilm
race also has come into play. one 38 years agowhen aseries of 1991. . · .
When the plants were built in explosions leveled the DuPont The companiesalsotake pride \
the 1940s,there were far fewer' plant on CampGroundRoad,kill- in their participationin the West \
homes in western Jefferson .· · ing 12workers. . Jefferson County Community '
County than now, and the city's "I will never forget that day," TaskForce,whichoversawthe air
developedWestEndwas predom- saidIvaUpshaw,a westernLouis- monitoring that has brought so
inantlywhite,althoughthere was ville resident whose husband, much attentionto them this year.
one black neighborhood near R.C.,worked at the plant and es- It's a collaboration among gov-
Rubbertown, about where Park caped with his life.She heard the ernment, the Universityof Louis-
DuValleis now, that went by the explosionsfrom her home about ville, industries and representa-
name LittleAfricaor BlackPark- . two milesfrom the plant tives fro:m citizen groups that
land, Owensaid. · Louisville Metro Air Pollution
With the post~World War II Companies built ControlDistrictDirectorArt Wtl-
economic boom, thousands of culture of secrecy liamsdescribedas extremelyval- :
homeswere addedto westernand uable. :
southwestern Louisville,·putting It didn't help that for decades,· "It's kept the differentparties i
many more people closer to the the companiesworked to keep to at the table for a long time," he ! ..
Rubbertownindustrial area, said themselves. said. . . .. I
Owen, who is also on the Metro "When I started out, most of Rohm and Haas' Hicks ac-
Council. · the industry said we want our · lmowledgesthat the active com-
Over the past few decades, plants to have high fences (the munityinvolvementandfinancial
manywhiteresidentsleftthe area public) can't see through," said · contributions are "intended to
and moreblack residents arrived. RogerLaCosse, who managed . build a· bank account of good .
Owen attributed the change to the Noveon plant on Bells Lane i will."
factors ranging from those early , until taking anotherpositionwith· "Is there enough good will in
air pollution problems.to "white ; the companyearlierthis year. ·· the bank account?I don't lmow." .
flight" that peaked during social Thatwas the wrongapproach, \ Critics complain that the •
unrest of the 1960s and down- he said, and it beganto change 10 :· plants are only buying loyalty, ·
town urban renewal that dis- to 15years ago,as chemicalcom- and they questionwhether mem-
placed black residents. panies in Louisvilleand across ' bers of the advisorycouncilscan
As the Rubbertownarea com- the nation beganto formcommu- · be objective.
panies have continued to put· nity advisorycouncils. : For example, both the Rohm
emissions into the air each year, RohmandHaas was a pioneer ,
activists like Coleman have re- in developing such councils, .
s ponded by raising concerns · starting one in 1986. .
about "environmentaljustice" or Since then, the council has ·
"environmentalracism"- based . met monthlyto discussplant op- ·
on beliefs that minorities in the erations and has been involvedin ,
United States often shoulder an numerous communityoutreach ·
excess burden of pollution. activities,includingan employee
Meanwhile, the number of mentoring program at nearby •
people employedat Rubbertown Cane RunElementarySchool;af- ·
has dropped; there are about ter-schoolprograms;and repairs
2,400fewer employeesthan dur- and painting of neighbors'
ing peak employmentin the late homes.
1960s,when the plants employed The company has taken its
more th:m 4.600Vlorkers. council members on occasional
expense-paidtrips to visit plants
in other states.
· Peoplegathered InAugust near a Rubbertownplant on BellsLane to !ant cros d . . · BYKETTHWlu.w.lS,
11-lECOURJER.JOURNAL
.t_h•Y t~)'.~'.dledpremat":'elybecause".! health problems ~ssociateJ:~~nporr~o'.~-'b~"::a~~•~ff~~a1!~~~i;!f~)~~::;;:~,~~:dp!s:!'~:i!: ~;,~:~~ ;
-~~~i•;.:::~Y.
1
· and ;~~s council and ~ubb-er- ·. participating on the pa;ei~B~t- (~:.:.:~~g~:"i~i~i~1~:s"6ihl~iii \I:2. :
t?wn CommunityAdvisoryCouni that's wrong-headed, he said: "In \ · · ne_ighb..ors, sai.d_D.r.M .. itch- r-------
.. ark.·.M
c_ilrew1:1-rd
member~ for.their par· order to ~ave an effect, you need ell, former public health.director
t!c1pation by ~akmg contribu~ to be participating in that forum." in Hartford, Conn., who ptpyid¢s .......
tlons to a chanty chosen by the. Cliff Hatdaway,pl~t manag- · technicalassistance_totheJ;ustice I·
council member; iri some cases, i er. at the Borden Chemical plant · Resqurce Center. ·.· · .. > · ·
anorganizationthecouncilmem-\ on Camp Ground Road, said the . · "It's a.blame,the-victim kind
her represents. · \ companies also realize they have of thing, and people know there is
Nine of 11companies that par- io ,do mor~ than don~te money: more to itthan that( he said. "In
ticipate in the larger Rubbertown Its ?lore tmportant m the com- the Rubbertown area, you don't 1
council disclosed their recent muruty to be a volunteer." have a choice of whether :to
overall charitable giving. Rohm breathe the toxins ornoe•
and Haas for the past five years Defenders in For their part, leaders of the
has contributed between the"'"""ffl· •tu WestJefferson(;:quntyCommu-
$106,000and $140,000 annually; . - fflUOl~,r . nity Task Force, _thegroup over-
Noveon, from $10,000to $17,000 · Some advisory board mem- seeing the air monitoring study,
.. annually since 1998; Atofina, an •.bers have become vocal support- acknowledge that they walk a
average of $21,600 a year since ers of the plants. They include ~e line between pushing indus-
1999; Zeon Chemicals, between Haskett, who said Rubbertown tnes to do mo!e and recognizing
$28,538 and $53,309 ayear since emissions don't bother her, and that the chenucal plants provide
1999;OxyVmyls,between $6,000 Joyce Korfhage Rhea, who does jobs and important products.
and $12,000 annually since the not live in the area but was raised . . "There's no excuse for pollut-
companywasfonnedml999; Dt.i- inShivelyinthelatel950sandop- ing our enviroriinent, but our·
Pont Dow Elastomers, a total of, erated a pharmacy on Can!'!Run comfort level is predicated by the.
$250,000 since the company: RoadnearRubbert6wnformany fact that nearly everything:
formed in 1996; Borden Chem-! years. arnundusisproducedbychemis- 1:
ical, Inc., between $30,000 and! About two years ago, she tum- · try," said Peggy Boltori, a West
· $50,000 a year; DuPont, $30,000: edthepharri:lacybuildingintothe End resident who is chairwoman ·
per year; and PolyOne,$3,000peri All Care Community Center for of the task force board, as well as
year since 1998: : youth activities, which has re- the lar?er Rubbertown advisory ,,··
American Synthetic Rubber! ceived donations from the chem-
Co. decliiied to detail its commu-l ical plants. . . committee.
nity support. Carbide Industriesi . Rhea argues that the dona-, . Hunton, the Rubbertown
LLC,which took over the former! tions are more than appropriate._; ~ouncil's facilitator, said he be-
Carbide/Graphite Group Inc.i Fortoolong,shesaid,theRubber-: lieves the councils are effective ·
plant on BellsLane in 2002,hasn't; tow~ I?lantsgave too little to local •· because they force plant manag-
begun charitable giving yet, said : chanties. · · ers to personalize their relation-
its manager, Frank Sizemore. · Two points she often makes: ships with people who live or
1

work in the area. ·
Tom House, a local Sierra - As a result, one of the most im-
Club leader, is among those; II The community focuses too ,
much on Rubbertown as a source • portant parts of the meetings are
whose favorite charities received : when plant managers report on
do~ations because of his partici- · .of_pollution anci not Elllough__ <ln,
spills or accidents, no matter how
pation on the Rubbertown coun- motor vehicles and other indus- small, he said. None wantto "look
cil. The Sierra Club Foundation is i tries. · bad" in front of their peers and
receiving $500 a year from the ·. II People forget or don't know · neighbors, he said.
Rubbertown group - money that how bad the air was in the 1950s ·
he said comes back to the local and 1960s, and how much it has
chapter of the club. But House, improved. "There is no pollution
who has recently left the council now compared to what it was in
said the gift didn't affect his view~ the war years and postwar years."
or those of other local Sierra Club She said Rubbertown area res-
leaders. idents should be equally con-
He acknowledged that some cerned about their lifestyles in-
environmentalists believe that he cluding their diets. '
and others lend their support to
the chemical industry simply by
Outcry grows,
reaches.more ears
Even as the advisory panels
cultivate support, the results of
the West Jefferson County task
force's air monitoringstudyhave
created a new urgency and inore
visibleopposition,includingreg-
ular protests and at least one act
of vandalism.A group callingit-
selfthe ToxicAvengersthis sum-
mer spray-painted "Pollution
Kills Kids ... We Kill Corpora-
tions" on a billboardon-the1200
block of East Oak Street.
Last May,within days of the
newspaper reporting the results
of the West County task force's
draft analysisof air samplingfor
toxic chemicals, managers from
three Rubbertown plants met
with MayorJerry Abramsonand .
subsequentl:yannounced volun,
tary emission reductions of
1,3-butadiene, a toxic pollutant . BYARZABARNETT,
THECOURIER-JOURNA~
-
foundat especiallyunhealthylev- Joyce KorfhageRhea,center,was surroundedbyyouthswho i
els near Rubbertown. · use the All Care CommunityCentershe operatesonCane Run./
T'ne mayor believes that the Road;whichhas receiveddonationsfrom Rubbertown
"jobsand the dollarsthat Rubber~ companies:Rhea said peoplefocustoo muchon the plants
townbringsto the commUility are and not enoughon other sciurc:!~f p~l.l!t~rr.,_
______

certainly important," said his
spokesman, Chad Carlton.."But
air qualityisfirst and foremosta
health issue." .
And high-ranking regional
EPAofficialshave been to Louis-
ville at least twice since May to
talk with local officialsand Cole-
man's team. One ofthem, region-
al air division director Beverly
Banister, promised the federal
agency will help Louisville.pin-
point its sources of hazardousair
pollutants and said the EPAwill
respondto "legitimate"air quality
concerns. . . · · :"
Yet Tim Duncan, a volunteer
with the Justice Resource Cert~
ter's RubbertownEmergencyAc-
tion program,expressedhis frus-
tration last month in a press con-
ference when he announcedthat
four air samples he and others
took showedhigh levelsof buta-
diene four months after the three
companiesmade their pledge.
"They are telling the mayor
one thing, and going back to the
factory and doing something
else,"Duncansaid.
Industrial changes cannot oc-
cur overnight,said TomHerman,
Zeon's environmentalmanager.
And the plants will be here
only as long as Louisvilleaccepts
them, said Hicks, the Rohmand
Haas spokesman. ·
"If we don't do what the com-
munity wants, they will shut the
place down and we'll go some-
place else."

ASSOCIATED
PRESS
Dr. Mark Mitchell stood outside a power plant in Hartford,
Conn., where he used to be public health director. He has given
technical assistance to the Justice Resource Center, which has
asked chemical companies to pay for relocating residents.
HISTORY
: . . ~..
OF RUBBERTO.WN- .

. . .. . 1S44: W,;...kers inspect
· Instruments at the
DuPont neoprene plant.

..•1!.. ,.

. "It seems that the incidences
Brainand liverafflictionshigh \ of brain cancer were limited to
people hired prior to 1960,and it
amongex~GoogricJi~~1!1Ploye~~-
, •.
\ some
seems logical to speculate that

factor in their work envi-
l --- --- .. ~-. ---·· -
ronment in th,e early.years of the
. .ByJAMES
BRUGGERS plant operation, possibly expo-
jbruggers@courier-joumal.com . sures to a mixture of various
TheCourier-Journal chemicals, was respon~ ·.
. sible," said Greg Rem- .
Fear of cancer haunts current pala, University of
and p1:1.stemployees ~f one Rub- Louisville associate
bertown chemical producer. . professor of mathe-
· Nea.rly three decades after · matics and co-au~
doctors found a rare liver cancer ' thor of the study. .
in some workers at the former "Further in~ .
B.F.Goodrich chemical plant, re- vestigation of the
searchers have documented that i issue is definitely
other-workers there have died of i in order, as most
brain cancer at an unexpectedly I of these chem-
high rate. : icals are still in
Unlike the liver cancers, use today and, un-
which were directly linked to the : like vinyl chloride,
use of vinyl chloride at Goodrich, : they are largely un-
the r~searchers said they found it regulated."
virtually impossible to prove that The brain cancer
the toxic chemical alone caused victims died be- Ex-B.F.G odrich
16brain cancer deaths. tween 1963 and planfworker
Instead - and despite other 2000. All but one RevisCrecelius
research that has suggested a link· were hired in 1959or of Milltown,Ind.,
between vinyl chloride and brain earlier. died in 1995of a
cancer - their study suggests a rare liver cancer
mixture of chemicals could be to at age 61.
blame.
Tlie- two re-
. searchers, alo.rtg
In .the study, ! with two others from -- -- thejob offered "wonderfui~J
Rempala and former Massachusetts, found surance" arid good pay, she said. '
U ofLresearcher Dr. that the Goodrich plant.•·, "If you didn't think about the
Richard Lewis, now director. of ' accounted for 42 per",:\ . dr;,ad disease, evetythingwas ro-
occupational health at the Cleve- i cent of all brairi cancers · ! sy... ·
land Clinic Foundation, reported : amongworkers employ~·. She said U of L told her that:
that they combed through medi~ • · ed between 1942 and- her h~barid, who was part of the;
cal records of 1,817 people who • . 1972in the 37 plants. . ongomg study, was the 19th vinyl !
· worked at the Goodrich plant for • In a related matter, chlorid_eworker at the plant to die [
at least one year before 1973, : the researchers' articles of the liver cancet. · ·
when the federal government be- i pointoutthattheplant's · In the 1950s, when Revis Cre- '
gan to crack down on occupation- , _ death toll from angiosarcoma·ot · celius went to "70rk at the plant,
al exposure to vinyl chloride. · • the liver continues to climb to · his supervisors had hini clean
The 16brain cancer deaths are more than twice whatitwas 22 · ·vats.f9r <;herriicals,Janet Creceli-
two to three times more than ex- years ago. They attributed 23 us said. "He.was just thrilled to
perts would expect, Lewis said. deaths to the rare illness; .the death to have a job. I'm sure no-
. · While other medical experts UofL research coordinator who body thought about the danger."
. previously found higher than ex- _ oversees their database has since Btit she remembers that be-
pected brain cancer mortality l identified one additional death. ·. fore the tougher ·health:.regula-
among former Goodrich work- / . "We are unfortunately,the tions came into effect,.herhusa,
ers, the new study is the first to · world leader" inliver-angiosarco~ band would come home fuclothes i
look closely at the workers' esti- • ma fatalities, said Lark ReyrioldS; ....,r.~ekingof chemicals. . '.' ) I -·-----
mated exposures to vinyl chloride ! who oversees the database in the . . ·Even after the cancer litik be- f
and several other chemicals.. !. university's Scbool of Me9icine. . :cameknown and after co-work- !
· "There's no evidence that t~e.J · "We expect one a year for the ·.ers _begandying, her.husband're- i
-peoplew~o aeveli:>pect .braincari0 j .. next seven or eight years," Rey~ mamed healthy. . : : ·· I
cer had higher levels of exposure I nolds said, adding that after .that, . ... "He didn't smoke (and) he l
. to vinyl chloride than those who 1.•. didn't drink,'-'---·~-
.there should be no more because. . ___ ~-·~·~-·---· she said. ·
. -·· ·-·----------·
1-
did not," said Lewis. . .. ··· i of controls on the chemical put in-
· Lewis:and Rempala also did ( to place in the 1970s. ·
not find a link between the brain 1 Her father, a former Goodric:h
. cancers and six other chemicals, j · employee, was one of the original
including acrylonitrile and i angiosarcoma fatalities. · .
1,3-butadiene; which have been r... ·
detected in Louisville air outside 1
. theRubbertown plants at levels·i
that environmental regulators '
would consider unsafe over dee- ,1
ades of exposure. · .. ,
Their research was repqrted •
in two articles published in the
Journal of Occupational and En-
vironmental Medicine in·May.
The research was funded in part
by the chemical industry, a.1-
though the authors said that had
no influence on their findings.

Cause unknown
"We have by no means E!stab-'
lished the cause ()f the brain can- . ,: · . .· , . BYKEITHWILLIAMS,
THE COURIER'-JOURNA!-
:
cers," Rempala said. "This paper Greg Rempala,a.Universityof Li:>uisville
assi;,ciate, ·•·..1
. leaves an open question that professorof math,co-authoredthe brain-canc:er study.
needs to be answered." 1
To discover what may have . .. ·-·'. . . . ... ·..·-_- "· ·.·.. I
caused the brain cancers, re- -""Ayearafferheretired, howev:::
The database .used by the re~.; er, he started having critical med- •
searchers would need to examine,: searchers was started in 1974, af0·.\
medical records of workers who , ical problems. A year later, he [
ter three cases of.the i:ar.eangio, : died, prompting hiswife to write a •
were hired in later decades, and . sarcoma of the liverwere identi-' ·
to explore whether mixtures of 1 tearfulletter to then-Goodrich:
fled she said · . · ••····.··· ..···.·· · chairman John Ong expressing;
different chemical vapors could ·
be the cause, Rempala said. i
The late Dr. Carlo T~bu~- H:
ro, who becqIDe internationally •·•
her disappointment that none of.'
When chemicals mix, 1 her late husband's former super~;
.known for his research on liver , visors ever contacted him during
·'\. their properties can cancer and other liver disease, .
change. hisillness or attended his funeral.
The second arti- ran the program. It contains re- Ong, who is now the U.S. ambas-:
cor~s on more than 6,000 people sador to Norway, sent his regrets
cle compared work- • dating to 1942, when the Good- ,
ers' medical re- but told Crecelius that the com-
rich plant opened, Reynolds said. I pany no longer owned the plant.
cords at the Louis- One of the liver cancer victims i
ville plant to those • was Revis Crecelius of Milltown, !
from 36 other in- l Ind., who died March 22, 1995, at · Workers wary
dustrial facilities ! age 61. '
that make the same Starting in the 1980s, Good-
products. He worked 38 years at the rich began to sell portions of the
plant, retiring in 1993, said his plant to other companies: Zeon
widow, Janet Crecelius. .Chemicals LP, Noveon Inc., Po-
. lyOne Corp. and OxyVmylsLP. . ·
The latest news about high
i~
\)!~iikf ,.,man,vice president of; •i
the United l\<fod and ,:/
. CommerciahWoi:kers'/
. I,.ocal72-I>;whi¢hhas '/ ...
about 250' members 1
working at the four{•··
plants. They recallbe--,j__--···..
1
ing worried about-
people dying of brain.
cancer in the 1970s,'
hesaid. . . ., ··
Zeon plant man-1
ager Bill Simpson, , ______
····....·---· who started at \
Goodrich in 1975; . \ ........
..... .said the fust he heard, . .
of official acknowledg~\ ..
. ment of excessbrain cancers\
---·----·····--...... _______wasinl998,afteranindustry-\_
sponsoredstudy. _ . ... '\
• He said it's important to .. _ __________
.. ..... .
... - ·--· ·-·-·-- !o:;e"t~tr~1)c~v;;k:~~ ":i~~
\
amongthe 16 deaths;and after ;
the liver cancersw~re'discov- \
· . ered, GoC>drich to(i~raggres- 1,
sive steti~J9.e~ensifeJymonitor\... -·-·
emplot~es•·· ltli,i~d control:
chem1.·u·J.l
workersJher f.~-He tosaid\·····----·-···
e ·· , s.u·
w·.appear be
safe from bo 0
ce'ts. ....._ .. _
The''plant llhilgesis the 1
only one of tl1~four originally \
ownedby Goodrichthat stillpar"' i
ticipates in the U of L medical i. ...
surveilla,n~e-prog~~m;~n4J)ie >\
only one ()fll;Rufi'l'iertovyh~area :
chemical0µlan~s involved/Rey- j
nolds said:'.'Many,of the .Rubber- !
town plailtf ft~v:f:st~:rJe4 tliei_r..1
own employee health surveil- L
lan~epro~ms: s~e said. j
Wethink this IS a veryvalua-_;s'\"--·--
ble data,l;l~e,,".S.itnpso-9,..said,.:'Jf\
,
there iss_9metliingthere;y,e wajit, l- .
to~iJt~~i~t:,\v~;;¥J~t£d~;15
\
managenat Noyeontintilfie.took:·/i
anotherjob with the company ··1
earlier this ye1:1r,said he recalls 1

friends asking;;iboutthe dangers
when he wentfo work at Good-
rich in;l97L;s\;f ·"'•',\.t\ ..'t;'•;.,J
"ButI saw,thatthere.wasa::tr&:"t
mendousJuiiountof ciu;~aricl';re.:fi!
it ,w,asa,!;safe'.:
spect frf'iriake:;'~ure
place towqdf/'.-¼<;:q,!,se saigf. ·,,~..
. Non1Ithel~ss; someemployees .-.
continue to be worried,Bowman
said. "We'restillhavingcancers,"
. h~ $aid;,a,ddii::igth!ltqlp.er;wqrk-.
·ers ru-etlie·most coriceniedatiouf'
their health."We were when
th~re
. the exposures were pretty high,
and they tell us it may take 20 or
. 25 years (for some cancers) to
kickin." · ·
I
CHEMICAL COMPANIES IN RUBBERTOWN:' AREA.
This aerialview showsthe
10 chemicalplantsthatare
in the main Rubberfown
. industrialcomplex.Borden
Chemical,anotherplant in
the area,.isapproximatelya
mile and a halfsouth
along Camp· 1

·' Ground Road;

1.Nov~on 2.PolyOne
4200 Bells Lane ·4200Bells Lane
Employment:125 Employment 45
Annual payroll: $9.2 million Annualpayroll:$2 milllon
Product: Enhanced PVC, Product PVCpellets
Vycarlatex. Found In: TV cables,
Found In: fire-sprinkler
systems,vJnyl
covers . .
flooring,
wallcoverlngs,magazine
.
)~==~:~:~Tu~~;v

3,.zeon.Cheinlcals 4. OxyVinyls
4100 Bells Lane 4014 Bells Lane
Employment 250 , Employment i5
Annual payroll: Annualpayroll: $5.5mill/on
Over$1 a mHJlon Product PVCresin
Praduc;t:Elastomers, Found fii: Auto parts, ·
polymers . medicaldevices,PVCpipe, .
Found in: Automotivehoses, dashboards, siding, .
gaskets,brake pads,airduels windowftames; blood begs
MONDAY,OCTOBER_27,2003 \
~---·-- .. ··- - --

for

. . PHOTOS·BYMARY
,'\NNGERTH,THE.COUfllER-JOURNAI.:
The Motivarefinery111Norco·,.La.,
is involvedwiththe nearbyShell Chemicalplantin a niultlmillion-dollar
programto investin the community.She_llChemicalofferedhomebuyoutsto someresidents. _
Louisianaplant movedneighbors
.ByJAMES
BRUGGERS bertown industrial area,
jbruggers@courier-journaLcom where yard signs calling.
TheCourier-Journal· for buyouts and for pollu-
tion ·reductions have
NORCO, La. - Only · cropped up on· several
landscaping and walkways . streets, and where the ac-
to nowhere. remain where tivists nope to produce
Margie Richard lived for . · .similar results. .
decades - in the shadows · The goal of the environ-
of the tanks and ·vapor . mentali~ts, who w:ereinvit-
stacks of a chemical plant. ed to Louisvilleby the Rev.
As. she strolls across a Louis Coleman and his Jus-
grassy lot in Norco's Dia- . tice Resource Center, is to
mond neighborhood, she put Rub'bertown~area
stops near a tall pine that peighborhoods on the na-
she planted as a small tree Margie Richard,left, visitedthe yard ofher former tional map of most polluted
in the eignth grade. "This is home In the Diamondneighborhood;With her was · places .• · · ·.. ·
home," she•said. · Wilma Subr_a,a chemistwho helpedthe residents; ·· "Wheripeople think of
But Richard, 61, · arid . air pollution crises, they
several hundred neighbors and its partner, the Motiva · nical skills, political ad- . often think of industrial
have m·oved from the oil refinery in Norco, came ' vice, money and the .savvy · communities·jn Louisiana;
neighborhood, accepting as a result of pressure by to attract media attention. Texas and New Jersey,"
relocation from the Shell Richard and other commu-· That network, bigger said Denny Larson, a San
Chemical-Co. . · nity members, who were and stronger.from its-vie--(-- ·••· ·: . .· ··:c. ·
15t who_
The buyouts, along with supported l:)ya network of. tory in Norco, has now fo- ; F~,ancisc9enV1~o~mer1tal
other concessions·by Shell outside experts with tech- cused on Louisville's-Rub- \ dir,ect~- the ~efmery Re_f?rm
· · · · · \ 9._mpa1~n~~i:l brought citizen
au, mopitonng to-Norco ,and to
·Lquisviile:. "They. should. start
thinking about Louisville as
well.'\ : . : · ·, ·
.·'. Sorne·-Rubbertownai:trearesi~
dents; such as Dave Smith, who ·
liiesJn Riverside Gardenso'adja~ .·
cent to Borden ·Chemical Inc;,
are hoping that the network wins
buyouts for them as it did for res-
. idents in Norco. · ·
. "Fjust ,vant out.of here,"
Smith said, complaining about ·
br;ight lights, noise and pollution
from the plant.
_:Other residents said they
hqped ..buyouts would also bring
higher value for their homes,
which they believe have been de-
pressed by being near the plant.
.; "You .can't give therrf away,"
said Michael Humphrey, who
has lived in the neighborhood for
47.,years. . .·
~-Others lcive their neighbor-
hoods and are content to remain
.....::,but·theywant the companies. · 1

to}urther cut emissions. , .,•
~ "We're· all.family here," said
Carolyn Quinn; referring to her
neighbors on Sunset Avenue in
the Chickasaw neighborhood
northeast of Rubbertown .. ''Your
·'·•· •'"'·
pam.1s '•
OUfpam. "

Clyde Taylor worlied on installing a sewer line to. his house,
wh_ichhe had moved from the Diamond neighborhood to
another Norco neighborhood a few blocks farther froin the
_§hell plant. The buyouts, he said, "ripped the community up."
__
--- .. ---··-·· ... _________._,.,,,.
__...;;:;.;:::;,r-:-:n:-.·• .. ·-.-·-,- .. _,., __
_
of~oilution also affect air quality '
, Industry-funded relocation in western Louisville, according -
programs occur occasionally. to U.S. Environmental Protec- ·
Last year American Electric tion Agency and Louis'villeMetro
Pqwer said it would buy out all
200 residents of Cheshire, Ohio, cords. · "We'reau
Air Pollution Control District re- .

where one of its larger coal-fired
power plants operates. ··
Chemicals in the air .family heres
:,But while the Diamond neigh-
borhood and Rubbertown area
Despite such differences, the
· ·· Diamond arid Rubbertown com-
Your. pain is
both involve residents .:....mostly munities share a major concern @urpain~"
African Americans .-:- living· · - air quality. ·
c~ose ~o chemical pl;uits, they _ The air is actually more toxic _CarolynQuinn, referring
differ m other ways: · ,.. ·.··. · · _,1 ··· ····near the Rubbertown plants than - to her ·neighborsin the
Iii Most Diamond residents I in Norco, _said Wtlma Subra, a Chickasaw
had already been moved once by 1 · · · ···New Iberia, La., chemist who as- neighborhoodnorth of.
Shell - in the _195gsto make way 1· _ __ sisted Diamond residents and is Rubbertown ·
fof the chemical plant - from : now working with the Justice
land theirfamilies had farmed as : Resource Center -on Rubber-
sharecroppers. There was no t·- - town; - . - -
similar dislocation of a commu- •. She bases that assertion on
nity whep the first• Rub):)ertown ·- ·- air monitoring done by the EPA
pl;mts arrived in an already in- and the University of Louisville
dustrial area in the early .1940s. · · for a draft study for the West Jef- · beyond a plant's property -.:.i. -
1

Jll The displaced African fer.son County Community Task what ~he calls "the vulnerable
Americans in Norco were initial- -------- ·• Force that has shown excessively zones. ·. ----
ly):elocated immediately next to ____ _ _ _ high levels of chemicals and . According t? Subra's analy-,1
the Shell Chemical plant· and other compounds. in. Louisville- sis, thatwould mclude hundr:eds:
kept isolated· by a .railroad line area air, especially near Rubber- _ of residents in portions of Lake i
and. forest from the white resi 0 town. D.reamland; portions of River-! -
dents, giving critics the powerful __. "In Louisville, I see the high~ side Gardens, including Wtlmcithl
weapon of alleging environmen-. est concentrations of chemicals Avenue; portions of Camp'
tal racism - the charge that in~ of all the communities I work in," Ground Road, Bells Lane and Al- I
dustries are deliberately placed sai~ Subrai_whohasworked with gonquin Parkway; and all ofBel- \-
near or ate allowed to pollute mi, . residents m several hundred q uin Road,. as wellas other l
nqrity neighborhoods. - · communities. streets. ·
· -InLouisville,the composition - Many residents of Norco's Buyout questions _
of the neighborhoods near Rub- Diamond neighborhood believed
bertown has changed to predom- plant emissions were causing ' · Renee Murphy, who lives on
.inantly .African American over cancer or other illnesses - a Algonquin Parkway, is among
the years, but at the time the charge that Shell and Motiva . those wanting to leave the area.
plants were built, all but. one of never accepted - but one that is_, .When companies "say they
the closest neighborhoods were i echoed in western Louisville. are cleaning up, I don't: know
white.· And the two Louisville I Rubbertown plants also reject
communities that geographically ! ... any noti?n that their operations
most closely resemble Diamond ,/ harm neighbors' health.
-,. Riverside Gardens,.· south; of I And deadly explosions and
Borden Chemical, and La.ke l - ac_cidentsat both Shell and Moti-
Di,-eamland,south of American · _.. va in Norco raised stress to un-
Synthetic Rubber Co. -:-:-are· he~lthy levels among residents
largely white communities, who often feared disaster, Rich-
though some Riverside Gardens ard said. Some residents in the
residen~s a~e raising "envirnn- _I Rubbertown area have said they.
mental Justice" concerns based _lrn,y:e_th!:)_~g_Ille
concerns. _ · _
on their lower incomes. · · Toxic emissions and .fear of
!IiiThe Diamond neighbor- accidental releases of chemicals
hood was a collection of about _ have prompted the Justice Re-
-22-Lh,omeso~f_()_ttr streets sepa- · source Center's Rubbertown
- ,,.__. •. --~---~·-:- · 1i Emergency Action program
rated from Shell Chemical by a i ask for both pollution reductions
cj1a_in-link ~ence and a road, pro- • and voluntary relocation of near- BYJAMiERHODES,SPECIALTO THEC-J
v1dmg a smgle focal point for.. by residents.
contr?versy. Complai~ts about l . "Now we've got the facts," David Brignac,.aShell
chemical plant pollut10n from: said Coleman. "It's time to nego- engineerwho was assignedto
residents in western Louisville. tiate." work with residentsin 2000, 1
coine_f~oma much broader area, : _ Coleman's proposal for a vol- • said, "Our performance !
extendmg more than two miles untary relocation plan, however, , _ needed to improve." I
from the Ru~be.i;:own complex rema1?s _sketchy, with no map :
along th~ y~1~ River. identifymg potential buyout what they are talking about," she •
ill Actrv1SLS m Norco had clear areas and no estimated price tag. said. '
targets for ~heir complaints. It's • Subra first presented the idea Murphy sued Noveon this
harder to smgle out a culprit in to several chemical company of- summer following a June acci- '
western ~ouisville. In additio~ t? fi~ials in 2001 at a meeting held dent that sent hydrochloric acid
11 c~emical plants that partic1- with Coleman. She said their re- vapors into her neighborhood.
pate m the Rubbertown Commu- quest includes all residents who She alleges the plant has de-
nity ~dvisory Council, thre~ live close enough to be potential- prived her family members of
coal-fired _powerplants, two rail ly affected by an accidental re- the use of their home.
yards, an mterstate freeway, and lease of vapors that could move
at least nine other major ~ources
Noveon has apologized for
the incident and said it was not
A breakthrough Audrey Eugene is one of
1 those who moved several miles
· indicative of how the plant nor- One of those who listened to away to a ranch-style home.
mally operates. that ston.,:was David Brignac, a Eugene, who had lived in
Rohm and Haas Co. spokes- Shell engu~eerwho was assigned Norco all 64 years of her life and
man Dan Hicks said officials at to work with the community in was very concerned about safety
his plant are aware that some · 2000. and health; said; "The stress lev-
residents have expressed a de- . . Richard said Brignac was the el is practically nothing now."
sire to be moved. None has come i fir~t company official to take Not all Diamond neighbor-
forward, however,with a specific ne11?hbors'complamts seriously. ' hood residents left Norco. Clyde · .
request for assistance, he said. ~mergency events were hap- Taylor, 41, moved his house to .
"We've said ... we would talk • pe_nm,?all too often," Brignac another Norco neighborhood.
about it if anyone came lip with a · sai~. Our performance needed Th~ buyouts, he said, "ripped
plan on why it woufd be neces- to improve." · the community 11p. Not every-
sary and how to do it fairly," body is going to prosper."
Hicks said. "If we thought we He said he tried to under: • Despite the buyouts, Shell-
were creating a hazard or an un- s_tand,the neighbors' perspec- and Motiva insist their plants
healthy situation, we would look . t1ve: 'They told us, 'We don't have not harmed residents.
at all our options. want to hear you. We don'twant .. Others in .the community
"But philosophically we be- to smell you. We don't want to agreed, noting that new homes .
lieve it's better to invest in reduc- see you.'" · . .
In 2000, Shell and Motiva in- are being built in Norco along
ing risk inside the fence line." another Shell fence line.
. Buyouts are difficult for com- t~o~uced a "good neighbor" ini- "Shell has always been good
panies, said Peter R Loscocco tiative. . · . 1

Together, they promised to · · neighbors;" said Sal DiGirolamo,
public affairs director for Borde~ president of the Norco Civic As-
Chemical Inc. "It's a slippery reduc~ their emissions by 30 per- . sociation and a retired Shell
slopefor any corporation. Where cen_t;improve emergency evac- i
uat10n routes; fund a $350,000
Chemical employee. !'Most of us
do you draw that perimeter line? believe Norco is a good place to :
Is it one-half mile? Is it one mile? community education program; ! live and work, and a safe place."
So our focus is going to be doing and establish a $1 million trust to . But Shell "did the right thing
what we can to work with our assist schools, adult day-care for the people," he said ..
(residential) neighbors." centers and the Norco Christmas .'

That was Shell's perspective parade.
for most of the 1990s, said Rich- Shell had been slowly buying
ard, the Louisiana activist. some nearby properties for
But it didn't stop the residents years, but in 2000 it also an-
from pressing hard for what they nounced that it would offer vol-
wanted. untary relocation to residents of ·
"We knew the plant wasn't the two streets closest to the
going to go away," so residents ' chemjcal plant - a :m,ovethat
demanded to be relocated, Rich- backfired on Shell because it ap-
ard said, adding that the struggle peared .the company was divid-
took nearly two decades. ing families.
The Diamond residents lost a Then the battle really heated
lawsuit iri the mid-1990s. Rich- up, Brignac said. It drew support
ard said she read the Bible and from Greenpeace and the fiery
prayed for strength to continue. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los
Diamond residents also asked Angeles, who portrayed the com-
for outside help. munity as a prime example of en-
Larson arrived in 1998 to or-·. vironmental injustice.
ganize a citizen "bucket bri- i Two years later, in June 2002
gade .." . a~~r Richard and a delegatio~
There was_ no community · yis1tedRoyal Putch Shell offices
project to momtor hazardous air . m London, the Shell Chemical •
pollutants in Norco, such as the . plant and Motiva expanded their ~ horn~ in the new Highland Estates subdivision of Norco u
one begun in Louisville three good neighbor jnitiative to in- has a view of the Shell Chemical plant. '
years ago. So residents began to elude a $5 million community
take their own air samples with development fund. Shell Chem-
equipment held in plastic buck- , ical also offered voluntary relo-
ets and showed the results to cations for all four Diamond
plant officials and state and fed- neighborhood streets - a mini-
eral regulators. mum of;$80,000for conventional
While Subra had been work- homes .Pl~s.mo:11ngexpenses.
ing with the Diamond residents : Shell Chemical and Motiva
for several years, she stepped up have said they consider the out-
her analysis of plant emissions · come to be a success.
and the frequency of meetings Residents who didn't want to
with residents and Shell repre- move could borrow up to
sentatives .. $25,000 to repair their homes in
"She gave us facts," Richard a loan _tha~would ~e forgiven if
said of Subra. "We had living they still hve there m five years.
proof, but ... you need facts." By last month, Shell had bought
The neighborhood also turn- ab_out200 of 225 lots, Brignac
ed to the media to help get its said.
story out.
PHOTOSBYMARYANNGERTH.THECOURIER-JOURNAL
$hell Chemical and the r.iiotiva oil reiinery began a good-neighbor initiative in 2000 to address Norco residents' concerns. Many
residents believed plant emissions were causing cancer or other illnesses - a charge the manufacturers never accepted.
fo a
..

out·
InRiv~rsideGardens,some
feelfrappedby h~zards
.. ByJAMESBRUGGER$ the company's 49 plants world~
;,jbruggers@courier-journal_.com wide, Louisville's is its largest.· -- - ~~ic&!i!:titg~_( att~n~ the \ <

TheCourier-Journal "If we.get a complaint, we. , · ·.Haskett acknowledged that
-- - --take it seriously,"said CliffHarr/,, >some cotinci}'meetings·are
:'. Riverside Gardensw~~ sup-' claway,plant manager. _· . . -- ''poorly attended~At the-coun-'
posed to bea paradise, an Ohio ·_ In the past year, plant offi; l--· ; dfinrieetirig inAugust, she was
River resort community ·with cials said they've taken steps to 1 ;jofried only by, Hardawa.y and_
boating, fishing and a beach. reduce noise, direct lights away ?;Rohm, and '.Haas -~poke~man
ButamajorfloodinlQ37,the fronihomes and fix clrainagei
Depression, _ad11mpand the ar- problems that sent water into --· · ,';;:~~;i~i{~lf~ng~hg ~~ek;'an < -

rival of heavy industry changed residents' yards. · · • -imprbrtipti,r meeting arranged
allofthat,- -.. : - •-- .'.Bfothers :withea iepbrter'af.a ·I·
•- Now; this sub_division of IBig·g·· er an_ c___
d_ loser ; ·,i,home on WtlntotnAv.enuedrew •
about a dozen streets with small ·
homes anclmature trees is sand- . The Borden plant, coristruct-
({3.o;peopte,::i<fmfdHvnon{I
}broughtcthe c'onteiits'oftheir l
fm.i1Ji~:f
~~ii,f1¥s
',y:ich e d among the-Borden , ed in 1971, is a relative new~
Chemica_lInc. plant on Camp comer to the area; the original weg~t a -~(irnp!afot/we.:(/:if
-----;'It
Gfound Road, a covered toxic Rubbertown corr1plex to the _-·
·ta!ce if seriously, ''csaidCliff-:;·": I
-:-::pustparticles leave.cl!fsand
waste dump, a junkyard and a north started in the:early 1940s.. · Hardaway;maoagerolthe• --•hoines ciirty·ail(i:~eem to:be. i
power plant. Sounlike many neighbors of ·. Borden:-Chemical ;plantoit'.. --- ·causing skin i'ashes)said Dave i
·fAnd mariy residents want the original Rubbertown plants, __Camp9roundJ~oad;'-· - · Sniith; a,Wtlmoth "A,ventieresi- }
out ·-, •- - · - · ··•· -residents near Borden can say ·· · dent.. Although Borden has de- !
•i'We justfeei like we are liv~ they were-there first And they of Health, irhich.would decide. riied'Jtis a catise of such.prob- L
irig in a danger zon_e,"sai_dTe1;11 have watched yvith ;ilarm ~s
0
· how,to address them;. -__ - • - : leins, Smith blamesthe plant or
Humphrey, who hves on \Yll- Borden ;has·expan!1ed to f1H __· Earlier this month; state en~ emissions .from the,LG&E En-
n?-]t~Avenuenearthe fert~elme • much oflts 9:0°acresite; movmg i virormiental epidemiologistDa- -ergy C::a'ne Run power plant for
off,theBorden property. _ · _--, ever neaxerthe backyards of , vid E. Jones m.et•with,about a the dust : .. -- _
f,:1'5hecomplains about 'fnoise · Wtlmq!h.Av1mue·ho~es; · . - · ·· dozen of the residents and en° , ·He-said he doesn't kriow
a:pdsmells 1' and illnesses that - "It Just kept g~tting bigger couraged them_to,better docu- ;whathas caused a nerve dis()r, I
cannot be explairle~, from skin -- and bigger a!)-dcloser and clo~a me!ltt.heirillnesses and_present der t~at ~es him ~e~res but I
rashes to asthma to.cancer. . er, and we didn't krlow whemt theirfmdmgs to the local health. -fears 1timght be em1ss1onsfrom
fl,}Humphrey'sfattier, l{enneth _w~s going. to stoP,," ..f:Iumpm:er board as a preliminary.step to a --. .the chemical plant, which is dis
N!idiso;n, has documented said/!Youcansee1tandheant.,1 _ potential formal investiGation. , rectly behind his home; •-_....-_
~ors, noises.and other com- Though an ea,rthen. berm· - .Hardaway,_meanwhile,says :-, Doug Bennett, an LG&E
p~r- He and other residents re ~ue resident~' V}eW
!1- of the pla-nt,
gomg door to door, surveying Just beyond it sits a complex of
I
_plaintsfor years on sc~apsofpa- partially bloc~ Wilmoth_Ave-_ . that plant officials have wprked _spokesman, said· it is, "nearly,
closely with the, Riverside Gar~ impossible" for ash from the .
dei:s:Commuriity Coun<::;il, pCl\V~r-planttofallon the com-j
for health problems and asking buildings, machinery. and wluch operate~ a_comnmmty · Inumty, th~ugh he acknowb/
howmanypeoplewouldmoveif wastewater treatment facilities J center and holds nionthly.mEletc · edged that1t could occur when !
the company were to offer to used to produce dozens of res- i ings,t9 a<;Iqtessprol;>le:m,~~ ../ ·-·- ithe plant's pollution. scrubbers :
buy them out. · · ins and adhesives, as well as for- i •-He citeda'n• April 2J; 1994, _--._malfunction. He'said h,edoe~n't ·
Plant officials have said they maldehyde-allproductswide- 1 letteilrorli-:l:iforirier cotiricil •-•-believe the po.wer, planthas
would be.reluctant to entertai_n ly used in socieo/. . . \ -·pr~sj~e~fiij~#kupported the . caHse~any health problems in
such an idea, but some res1- · Thompson said the proxim1-t company's.:mtd:l9Qsexpansion the area ..·
dents said that without compen- ty to· both the landfill; formerly I and applauded-the company's Haskett, a member oft_he i
sation to cover moving expens- on the nation's Superfund list of : attempts to,be ~:good neighbor. ~onm:,.an,g Haas_C<?inmuT1-1t}'. /
es and what they believe are ~ost toxi~ sites, ~nd the ch~m- , . -.But some t¢,sid~nts say. the A~y1sorysCounc1l.smce 1992;,
oroperty values depressed by 1cal plant 1swomsome. Noting icouri.cif,currently led by :H_elen->slfar~sthe view of industry thatl
the plant's proximity, leaving is that he_rhu~band's sister, who : Haskett; does'.ribtrepresent the---_-- neither.Borden nor other .Rub~~:
not an option, was raised m the same home, : views :Ofmostresidents. •_ bertowriplarits are making any- ·
"It's not like lhave a choice," died in 1997 of liver cancer at ·_ __ ''They.don't listen to·you," orieilL- ·•· ·- :
said Amanda Thompson, who the age of 22, she said, "I don't thomps(?ri5aid; adding that Cancer is "everywI?,_!lre,"_§p~;
lives in a home formerly occu- even letmykidoutoftheyard."
pied by her husband's parents. But company officials said
"I'm 23 years old with bad cred- suggestions of buyouts raise
it. IHhad a choice, we'd move, difficult issues._ · · _
I'm living week to week to sup- "Where do you draw the ·
p01t my kids." line?" asked_feter E µ}scocco, ,
_ Borden officials said they public affairs·directorfor the·
don't believe their plant is company. "We cari't address
harming anyone's health, and their property values. We don't
they are trying to be good neigh- have enough information."
bors. LouisvilleMetr.o Health De.-
The plant, with 237 employ-· partmerlt spokesman Dave
ees and a $20 million payroll, is Langdon said anyone with spe-
own e d by an international cific concerns about their
chemical manufacturer with health and the environment
SU billion in annual sales. Of should bring them to the Board
--- · ---··-·
,_ . ·

·-- · --
. . . .. .
Te~riHumphreyhas seerithe BordenChemicalplantexpandcl,oserto f1~r
homein RiversideGarderis;~W:e
·,_.,_,;t:----~:. ..'~'
PHOTOSBYDURELL
WiltnothAven_t,1e ....
HALt:JFi.,,tHECbURIER.JOURNALI

justfeel like we areHvingin'adanged:one.'~. ••,J: '.· , ', . · i-- ________
_
__...__:,•. ::._, ·-·..___'.,, ~.7''••:._,.· __ :·.__ :. --··: /' ._ .· ·:·-_.i__ --~--- __,.._
r·..
__ ;;.;.,:,.
__

that'sheisn't'
iii ct,,adalrii
.'.'scared''oHhe plants and
doesn't want to leave:, • . ·... ..·
, She praised. the chemical
. companies for helping students_
fu.ari'S
··01·· v()iebring~
getscholarships and assisting
in,other ways: .

Activist'~ ~dv,pe
:.
ner all sid s a ·ree:}
''>J'Sonie'l~iverside· Gardens · ',
.residents'.have'.turned to the
Rev..LouisColenian, whoseJus-.
:nce:Resoutce'Center has :been
··· '.;_;i:Goleip,a:n;y1ho:
,,····a;lrirEl1iimGGERS
jbruggirs@courier:journal.com
· the Courier-Journal·
,,,. ~pastor·Pf

was raised in the,--------
Smoketown area of Louisville, serves
Congregational 1·-- - Firs't
1

ciil1iµgJ9remission reductforis I \ M'~thqdistChurchiri w~st'erri·Louis- i
· arnubbertown plants for years. -./.·.-- · v:iHeandis aresident of eastern Jeff er--' .
. ,,coleman'sprioririterestwas -. ~::Staging p{6t,ests and using ,other sba,county,h_ai,forigpicketedaiid'pi-o-
·Jai:gelythe African-American, btillp.orpta:ctic_s;the Rev. Louis Cole te~ed overcivil rights. IIi 1991,he add-
0

neighborhoods immediately , nJ~JJ,has J)ecQtj¢Louisville's loudest. ~;ieriviro_hinental justice to his agen~
easfand north ofRubbertown. ; environm:eritalist' .'. , ·.: .• -·:··...- ~-, amfd;,a growin_g ri?,_tional
He said he wasn't aware that the :~F()r 13 ye~r,s; Colen1a:n has been l aM:arene~sof the pollution burden on
largely white Riverside G~r- • caHirigforcommi:mityattentiontopol 0 T - n3~ority arid low0 income comm:uni-f-
dens existed until lat~ August ... l@on in westetriLouisville andJeffer- -1· t~.§. · - · . -· " .:. · .· · · \
._But he's been meeting with s9.pCounty,;espe,dallyin theRubber; · ~Colemari;s father, also named i - -
· residents during the past sever- town area. . . .. . ·· · I.;gµis, 84;worked at one of the R1'.b-I
al weeks, including a rally on ;$'.~Hesucce~sful,lyfought for the dis~ l b:,~own plai:it,sfor 40 years'and mam- 1
Sept. 27 attended by about 25 UJ~ntlingofthe forniet Ashland Oil re- i ta'.msa West End home. The younger, :
neighbors, some of whom dan- fmery on Southwestern Parkway n,ear Coleman, who says he is "g_uidedby '1--- ...
gled signs from their necks with Gli'ickasawJ:>at1':;helped persuade the word of God," has been working i
slogans such as "Welcome to rJ:eJ:rci
Parks to rid a lake in Chickasaw with out-of-state environmental jus 0 \

Death Valley" and "We pay,tax- l{)!fkofdioxin-tainted fish; kept pub- ·· - --- - '·· - --- · - · -1
es, too." lic;pressure on the Metropolitan Sew- tice advocates for several years, but 1i
Coleman pledged support ei"District until it reduced odci.rsat its during the past year several key na-
from the Justice Resource Cen- main treatment plant; and call ea for ,I tionally known activisti, have started I
ter but told the residents they ai'rmoiiitOring iri neighborhoods hear to play a more visible role. · :
need to organize and take the the Rubbertown industrial area. - . "We weren't getting answers," Co-!
lead in pressing for change. He . While some criticize Coleman, 59, leman said, explaining why he sought i
.told them to seek meetings with for-his metl;lods, he was .buoyed this the help of outside experts in sorting
the mayor, air pollution offi- year by an air tqxics study overseen by through environmental regulations·
cials, health officials and Bor- theWestJefferson County Com.muni- and the complicated science ofpollu-
den officials. . . ty Ta.skForce that suggests there was . , tion and health. _ , · . '. · ·
,' ' "You;vegotta get upset," he I merit to Coleman's year·s of com- • " , Colenian said. he's b.e~n sti-iniiM:
said. "You've gotta get angry in ·plaints about unhealthy pollution lev- , to._'gether a Iow-bµd__
g·et c.a_
mpaigil for
the right kind of way." · e~.
.. . . .. . : _his new Rubbertown Emergency Ac-
Approximately.,a month lat- "Now we have the facts," Coleman tion program.thaUncludes some vol-
er, almost 50 people'attended an said: · · unteers paying for the costofair pollu-
anti-Borden meeting. .·. /Among them: Concentrations of . tion testing oufof their own pockets.
. Not everyone thinks Cole- toxic air pollutants have been meas- ·Coleman said he's applying for grants ;
man's attention is needed, Has- u:r,~da.tlevels_hundreds of times high- · to expand. the environmental work of:
kett said. "Wefeel we are doing ei'than those ·considered safe by offi- Rubbertown Emergency Action ..
a good job of representing our- ci_alsat the:,LouisvilleMetro Air Poliu- .
selves." tiq;:tControl District, state Natural Re<
s:o,urces and E'ri.vironm:entaF
Protection Cabinet and the U.S. Env1-
ro11!_llentalProt~ction Agency.
· While most acknowledge that Co I 0

· lemariisapoladzii:J.gfigure,somearea •
residents see Coleman as someone
who helps give a voice to those witpout .
one. This includes Kenneth Madison, ,
who lives in Riverside Gardens adja~
cent to the Borden Chemical Inc. plant
and who asked Colemanfor help with
his neigh~orhood's Cfmplaints: "I be- '
lieve he will help us,' said Madison.
Officials in companies and govern-
ment agencies s·aythey are sometimes '
frustrated by Coleman, but they give j
him their. attention.•. . . .. . ; She said that Loui
Bud Schardein, executive. director; ·news media.gives G~
of the;Metropolifai:J. Sewer J?istrkt, ; way too much attent(
said he was never able to convmceCo- I that his organizatio ·
lerrian that strong odors from theMor-. i frontational style
ris Forinan wastewater treatment : . hard.to achieve p.rogr,
plant IJ;lay hav~ been smelly but they : . ····"He brings issues.
were never toxic: .·.. ·· · . . · · · I forefront,and that's Qr
Schardein also said that tens of mil- · .. ·•the kindest thing E~~
. lfons.ofdollarsthat MSD has spent to 'Gadson.sa:id. ·:' / '
.·improve performanceand reduce AtleasttwfrLoui .
odors at the trea~ment plant would :vifonriientalists sa.Ia:f
haye)eell spent without c.oleman's \ . wish Coleman woulcl::w
agitation. . . . . • cooperatively with the}
· Dan .Hicks, spokesman for the ! . force. · ' · , . : ' ': ;.:
Rohm and Haas Co. pla:nt on Camp i .. Lawyer and state Si
· Ground Road, said that!'Rubbertown ; .Club chapter chair-..y·
has had a mostly positive relationship ! Betsy Bennett said she:
with Rev.'Coleman the. last three to·! Colematj,,would."stop
four years .. , but he still doesn'ttrust ; down Arnita Gadson
the information we give him," i ·task forcetbecauseifi
· Arnita Gadson, executive director ! important work . ;
of theWestJ efferson task force and an . !.1
BtifBerinett also: ·
environmental justice.advocate, said Coleman with playing'
she doesn't understand why Coleman .. role in getting the. p
• cites the air monitoring data her orga- focus onimportant
nization developed; which va[idated and said his voice nee
many residents' concerns; and t~en
criticizes the task force for dealmg ,
heard. At the same tim.
nett said Coleman's la
with industry. . technical expertise c(
his cre.dibility. t
·.·.
Carolyn Embry, w,h
lows environmental i
··.for the American Ltinit
'dation·of Kentucky an
'been an air pollution dn1
district board memoer, !l
Justice Resource Center·wpµ
. likely be more effective'iti't . .
long run if it worked with tll,e
taskforce: • ,··.. . ,,}?'(
· But lawyer Tom FitzGerald;
the director of the KentuckyR~\
·.sources Council; said, "Thete?s
a need for a mixture ofii , "' '·
'
preaches/and added that . '
-i
· ·cause toxic air pol!µtant ··
main high, "none oflls h
gotten thejobdone:~c;;
Coleman is un° \.,·
· deterred by a ·,
criticism. ('.
He said 'fi,
doesn't-mi .
. upsetting wiij
• he calls "th"
power struc~
ture ... as long
as the people
in pain ge
some r
lief."
A nationalnetworkof environmentalists goingby :·
the name FencelineActionhas been-offeringhelp to "
the Rev.LouisColeman'sJusticeResourceCenter in '""
its effortto dealwithpollutionin westernLouisville.:
Three expertsfrom that grouphavevisitedLouis-
villeseveraltimesto meetwith Coleman;residents, · ·J!:l (;, •

industriesand publicofficials.

. ~cientistttjes toJevelplaying
' . .. . .
field]~
. ...
. ' ·~ ' . .. . . ,. . . .. : .,, . . ...
·.Wilma Subra, 60,'ofNewlhe- ; · roninental conditions for the U.S~;,
· ria, La., is a chemist who, has of- Environmental Protl!ction Agency:f
.·fered technical assistance to sever~ •at Love Canal iii upstate New York;:(
·· ·al hundred low-income and minor- · where a chemical dump found mi- ·
ity communities since founding der a resi_dential community_.,
TheSubra Co. in 1981. · helped prompt Congress to pass•z-;
She was recognized in 1999 by · the Comprehensive EnvironmenY;, ·
the MacArthur Foundation, win- ·•tal Response, Compensation and'":·,
iiing a $370,000 "genius award." LiabilityAct, which created the Su~::.:;
She said she put the money into her perfund program, in 1980. • . · '.;'
•business_ and u_sesit to coy.ef:~:8;j,; ., .·· Subra said sh~ bec~me frustrat~· ''
pen~es, mcludmg wor~.?m!tW~;;/e~_.be~ause her JOb did ~ot allow,,
Justice Resource Center m r:ows ··.·cherto tell Love Canal residents all'
0

···ville. . .t:/it~i~ifJ:_t':}lJ.e kri~w about t~e threa~s they_:
Low-mcome and mmonty~om 0 faced :- a frustration that eventu 0 ·
··munities. are often ill-equipped to . ally prompted to start her consult- ,.
express their needs and wishes to . · ing firm. Subra.is vice chairman of••~
industries and goverrimerit offi~ · theEPA'sNationalAdvisoryCoun<'
.cials, Subrasaid. They don'tunder- Cil on Environment~ Policy and,.:.;
ttand the science and regulations, Technology,and .isa member of the'".'.· ·
'.and have not mastered the techni- agency's National EnviroI1D1ental
cal language essential to negotiat- Justice Advisory Council. . . <::
ingforair monitoring, pollution re- "She's gottechnical credibility,~;~~
·ductions or home buyouts ..· · acknowledged David Brignac, ,ex"''-
'. The industries, she said, "have ternalaffairsmanagerfortheShell 0 •
.allthe resources on their side," Chemical Co. plant in Norco; La.;•rt
while "communities have no where Subra helped residents se-
moneyto hire experts." cure air monitoring and home'··•
She tries to offset that. buyouts. Brignac, howev-
She earned bachelor's and er, criticized her for tak;; -·
master's degrees in iI,1g some "cheap;•:•
chemistry and mi- . shots," such as sug-·;:
. crobiologyfrom the · gesting that his•"
U n iv er s it y of. plant intentionally··,
Southwestern emits more pollu::,:;;
Louisiana in 1965 tion at night ···
and 1966. From Subra said
1967 to 1981 she . she prefers a:·.:
worked as a bio- · background<:
statistician, chem- role, out of the>
ist and manager at . media spotlight.··.~
the Gulf South Re- The only way~;
search Institute, a any community';
private research cen- · can bring about .
ter in Louisiana. : · pollution reduc-: :
It was in that ca- tions is if resi,=>·
pacity that Subra be- dents demand it;,~
came involved in . she said. '.-
monitoring envi-
Tne ms
and outs of health poiicy~:J. ·. . ~.~

Mark MaicheH, 46, is a doc- New Havenfrom reopening. "'".
torwho worked as assistant health In St. Louis,he helped residents ;:;
director inKansas City;Mo., from form a group that fought medical':c;:·
··· ·1985to 1991,and was public health waste incineration. ·· v;, ·· · ····· · ··
director in Hartford, Conn., from He's been wqrking with the :
1991to 1995. · Rev. Louis Coleman since the,::../
While in Kansas City,he led an mid-1990s, first on the issue of ,,c,[
efforttoestablishasmokingbanin dioxin in fish in a Chickasaw Park:~~/·
public places. lake; The tainted fish were re-,i.~i
But as a public health official, moved ip.May 1996,but state offi-'.::;;:;j
he said the politics that dictated cials later-restocked the lake fop.-
the need to protect business inter- catch-and-release fishing. : .
ests sometimes interfered with his Now, he's helping Coleman · .
··ability to achieve improved public with air quality issues._ . ·· ·
___
_ health policies. That prompted . "I've never seen such high lev"':)
him to leave his job and go into els of toxic gases so far from the, :i
consulting. He for!31edMitchell polluting facilities," he said. "I've 1.. _____ ....... . ....................... _ .. ·-------·-- .... .
Health Consultants m 1995and es-· also never been to a place with so~di
.tablished the Connecticut Coali- m,anydifferent odors that could be· •·i _.._...___ _.. _................
.
tion. for Environmental_Justice in smelled from so far away." ;;;1
)998. .. . Mitchell earned a,;;
· "I found I was able to bachelor's degree in:;, 1
get more good policy ·economics and b_iol:·:::~ . ___
from the outside/' he · ogy and a med1car•:.,
said. From that van~ degree from the.,.'_ ......
tage point, he said,: University ofMis~·:."J
he has been able to souri a_tKansas:~1---·-
help persuade the City. ::1
. Hartfo,;d City Cpun- - ·· · He earned a,,,.( ..
cil to declare an · master's in pub~,~:j
asthma (:)mergency · · . lie health from:::!. .........
and adopt a plan for· Joh!ls Hop~~ns-,.;~
reducing preva- Un1vers1t,yf,,~:L
lence ofthe illness; where he. w:'a;s;,n
to block medical trainediin~~riv1~~,:-i.
waste incineration
in the city; and to
prevent an old.
power plant in
.~~,i;;~it~en
aitfnOhitors advocate
• -':,...,,__,___ .,c:--,.--·.
·- }·',:

~. Denny Larson, 51,is an envi~ )?rotectionAgency; -- - . ·
111
'· tonmentalactivistbasedintheSan . In California, h~ and others
""· · Francisco Bay area. · · · used "bucket brigade" samples to
• Before linking up with the Tex- identify sources of pollution at sev-
" asabased Refinery Reform Cam- eralrefineries, leading to abate-
paign in 2001, he w'orke_d17years ment orders and fines. And he
in the San Francisco area for Com-- brought the air sampling tech-
;., munitiesforaBetterEnvironment,. n_iquesto Norco, La., where one
focusinghiswatchdogactivitieson neighborhood's residents were
several refineries· and chemical eventually offered buyouts. ·
· phmts located close to residential "From the·very first time we
: ·neighborhoods. used it out of the box, it was sue-
His work with the advocacy cessful," he said. .
group also involved establishing Louisvilleis unusual, he said, in 1
• thenation'sfirstnetworkofpeople that the community had already i
t who live in neighborhoods imme- established a network of neighbor- ---·I
;i, diately adjacent to oil refineries. hood air monitoring stations. '
.ic And he helped pioneer citizen air · But the citizen "bucket bri- .
monitoring, taking technol- gade" monitoring can keep,, '
• ogy developed by attor- , pressure on industry:::
• ney Ed Masry, known \and regulators to do:·'
for winning the eel- ore to reduce pollu-•.•:,'.
ebrated pollution ·on, he said. •·"':
case depicted in "Companies are,/ 0 •

' the movie "Erin going to realize they::
Brockovich," and are going to have to :'.
s pre a ding it - startbuyingoutpeo- .·,1
around the na- ple," he said. "This•·,·
tion and world. disnute won't ·end
Groups in more uritil then." ·
than 20 cities He earned a:
are taking bachelor's degree ,..
samples using in communica- ·
methods ap- tions from the
proved by the UniversityofTex~ ·
Environmental as in 1974.
.· SUNDAY,DECEMBER~1,2003;

• •
maynnpoe
tough r airregulations
.Otherstates
·establish..
requirements
·.exceeding
those of EPA
ByJAMESBRUGGERS
.jbruggers@courier-journal.com
TheCourier-Journal

he LouisvilleMetroAir

T ·
PollutionControlDis•
trict is considered a •
model in its efforts to
monitor toxic chemicals but
admitsit hasn't used the regu-
latoiymuscleavailableto con-
trolthem. ·
Thatnow maychan~e.
Followingair monitoring
. that revealed18 cb.emicals and
compoundsin Louisville-area
air at levelsstate and localreg-
ulators consider unsafe - at
·1evels hundredsoftimeshigher
in somelocationsthan deemed
safe-district officialssaythey
are prepared to launch an air
toxicscontrolprogram. ·
"Now we have clear and
. strongevidence(that)thereis a·
needfor more action... to get
these chemical levelsdown,"
said Art Williams,director of
. themetroair district."It'slikely
we will needto put newlawsin
place." ·
The district, which has
oversightof air qualityin Jef-
fersonCounty,is ableto do that
because it is exempt from a
Kentuckylaw that prohibits
state agenciesfrom imposing
any regulations that exceed
federal ones, includingthose·
from the U.S. Environmental
ProtectionAgency. .
At least 18states have pro-
gramsto controlhazardousair
pollutants that exceed the
• EP~s minimumrequirements. BYMICHAEi.-
CLEVENGER,
THECOlJRIER.JOURNAL
LG&EEnergy'sMillCreekpowerplant Is one of morethan 40 majorindustrialsourcesof
air pollutionin JeffersonCountythat are regulatedby the LouisvilleMetroAir Pollution
ControlDistrict.The districtis studyinghowother communitiesbattlepollution.
~s saidthedistrict is lookfugatwhat other·:
· states·andlocalgovernmentshavedcip.e. ··
···... At least onelocal ·environm:emal leadersays
it'saoout time. ·. ·· · ·. •· · ·
"On the air toxics isrue, I thinkwewerejust ·
asleep;" said Gordon Gamer, of Louisville,a .
member of the state's EnvironmentalQuality ,
Commissiori;an independentwatchd~ group."I :
think the goalhas been to do .themimmumthat .
EPAwciuld accept,"saidGainei;who~tty.re- '
tiredas directorof the Metropo• Sewer.Dis-
-- trict and serveson three EPAadvisoryboards. •
. Districtofficials;workingwithth~WestJeffer- '
son CountyComiriunity Task Force,whichover-
saw the air-monitoringstudy,•and the·EPAhave
promised to identifythe sourcesof the 18~llu-
-____ _ _ tants anddevelopstrategiesforreducingthe!I'
··-·- lev-
eli;; : . .. . . . - . . ' .. ·,'-·
..· Thosestrategiesrangefrompubliceducation
campaignsto new regulationsthat ajuJdgo be-
yond the federalminimumrequiremep.ts to law-.. i'
suits Willianissaid · ·..··· · ' > ·
""F6r every chemical, every
considered,"he said.
straiegy
.. ,· ·_.
to movequickly;/
· 0:,;Thereis l)ressttre
. ·./~e JU$ticeResource Center's Rubbertown
.. _ _ _ _ EmergencyAction Program,working with a
willbe •
.• ·
. ·. , ·, ·.. ·
.Ascllool buswaitedoutsl~eManual
, . •· ·
tllgtis«:tiool
· ·. · .. , . . B'fPATMCDONOGH,.lHECOURIER-JOURNAL
to pickup students.Jeffersc;m..

·\:
I
. ·· • , ·
groupofnationalenvironmentaladvisers,has.be-
···.gµIiweeklyprotestsof Louisville chemicalplants
CountyPublic.Sch,C?~ls
has;apolicyllmltingidling by b~sesto reduceem.lsSlo,ns. r
•and is threateninglegalactiorulhe ~urce cen-
. ····ter~~C:~'g'le°i:isoftwo~lawsuits
.Whatyou maybe smelling hlti Rubbertownplants I'
_ ___---· -:,-Onefiledon behalfofaJusticeResoutceCenter
Residentsnoticing1heseorolher
odors·.canreport them
tothe.LouisvilleMetroAlr.Polluiion
Control[,
•- Districtat5746000. . . ~
supportei;and the other filedon behalfof high-
way constructionworlrers-against the Noveon [:·-
chemicalplantin Rubbertownfollowingan acci- . ·
dental release of acid vaporsthere ~lier this ~

. ~"The impatiencecomes from not being }ig. ' --Jl
tened toearlier,"saidthe Rev.FredWithers,a vol- -ii
unteerwiththe emergencyactionprogramwho
ha$lived,off and on since1985,betweena rail ...... 11:

yard where Rubbeitown chemicalsare some- '. j
timestempo~stored andthe chemicalplants. I!
. .·.•·SomeLouisvilleMetroCouncilmembersalso· Synthetic
..·Amerk:ari Rubber,Rohmand Haas, .' I
DuPont Dow Bastomers ··• · · · ' . . . /'l
are growingimpatientwith the air district.They
PiANTS;.u.s.
, ' . /I
. want it to move more swiftly toward a solution SOURCE:RUBBERTOWNCriEMICAL EPA . . -· ..
---·-··--··------ .
_.-~
.______......
THE•COURIER-JOUR~r'
,_._..;,., .. ,...-:-,. ,.':"· , ..
that wouldtightenregulationof the.Rubbertowil
. industries_and wve weste';llL?ws.ville residents
cleaner arr,while preseMngJOhs;~bbertown
chemicalplants collectivelyemploy-about2,300
people,with average8!1fiual,
1!11 pa;y
of $50,00,0;, .
· . "Weneed mdustry,"said councilmember;Ma-
.ry Woolndge, whoseDistrict3 is eastof the Rtd).:
. bertowil industrialarea."Weneedthosejobs.But
we can't just coritinuetolet peopledumpon one
Daftof the city." ·· ·
. Setting standards
Therearenonationalairstandardsforhazard-
ous pollutants,a categocy of i88 chemil;alsand ·
compoundssuchas those
discovered in Jefferson
County. Inste~d; 1990 ·
Clean·Air Act amend-·
ments callfor plantsthat
· are the largest sources·of ·
the chemicals to install .
":maximum .available
. troltechnologies."·
con--
. ·Butwith the EPArun-
- ning fQuryears behfudon
proposingcontroltechnol-•
ogies for hazardous,air
· pollutants, .some states
and metro.areashave re-
quiredmo~ thanthe fed-
eral government's de-
mandsfor use of the best
technologyavailable, .. ·..·
· "The EPA tries-to do
the right tliirigthat walks
.
across:the. nation,'.':said
Jeff Myers;a toxicologist·
in WJSconsin,one of the
statesthat demandsmore .. - . BYKEmlWli.UiWS,.JHECOURIER-JOURNAL
·thanthe EPA.But states The Rev;FredWtthers,a volunteer,withthe JusticeResource
oftenfind they needaddi.,.• Center's RLibbertown Emergency,ActfonProgram, voiced
···tii>nal:rules
to fill in regu- . frustrationthatresidents~complaln.~~f:l.relongignored.·
latoryg_a{)S,hesaid..:,.
: . · .... · '.~ .. - . ". ·:/:,:;::Y>,.:.:~ ..' ..•. "
. loi.ristanaandNorthCarolina,forinstmite, . tiotiastobebamiftil.tqtheh¢althandwelfare
of(--
JlaveimposedactuallimitsonJhelevelsofcfoienshumaris, ariin:ialfi)Ji,d~~ ·. · • >>. . ./'
. of.toxicchemicalsthatcanbenieasuredintlieau: . "Ifs.agi:eat~on," Natter.said..$utit's.'.'
.- Califomia~tluflargest_POlluterstoas-:; rievt:rquite~iinpleinentedtheway.wewouicI·::
. sesstheheaithriskstheypose,disclose.them:to ~ittobe. · •-::?ci},,. ,. . , .· .. ,
fueirneighborsand-reducethe pollutantsto safe :.::Qne 'problen:i:wMt:he aeanAir.Ac;t;acoord-:(
. _ ___levels. . · · · . · ,, ·· · · ·· · · · , - •··,· mgto.l~illQements;who retirediri 2001after29 :i ·
UnlikeKentucky,Wisconsinhasmana,ged t.o · yearswiththe - Natura.l:Resources and Envis l
.... work around its own legislative prohiniti<in ronmentalProtectioncabinet, is that existingair ]
against imposingregulationsthat iµ-e.stronger ·pollutionpermits do not generallytake into ac- :
thanthe federalgovernment'sby narrowlydefin. ·.countone company'sproximityto anothez:· .
··ingthefederalregulations,andworkingtocontroI · Thismeansthat emissionsfrom-aconcentrat-'
toxic chemicalsor facilitiesnot coveredby EPA ed grouping.of-industrial facilities,such as Rub-
rules. bertown,may be allowedto create a cumulatiVe
John Lyons,chiefof Kentucky'sDivisionfor problem,he said,. ·•. -.: _,. . . ·
Air Quality,agreed that the $rte bas no formal In addition,.while the metro.air district re- .
programfor_cfealing with toxicair_emissions: quiresJeffers~>n Co~cy operatorsto~givem:!11-ost :
-·, · .ButhesaidKentuckydCJ!!Sreqwre "screenmgs careand considerationto the potennalharmfulef- •
and-riskasses.sments". of industrialsources:ona feet"oftheir toxicemis,sions,, the rule has rarel:yii ·
case-by-case basis.And the Air QtialityDivision ever been invo~ .- · · ··· · . : . •
. bas studied such.industrialareas as CalvertCity · .Williamssaid the .~on has.the putentlai •
. and Asbland,and scrutinized new power plant. to help the ilistrict.lower thi;;levelsof toxicchem~'
proposals, such as the Thoroughbred plant icalsin the aiI;but it's y.,ordedtoogenerallyto be ,
plannedforMuhlenbergCounty,Lyonssaid . • qfwat ~ce, r,hedistrict,he said,willlikely:
·· Manystates.and rommunitiesare just begin-. needmo~_specff.ic;i;iew. ~o~: :.: . . ·
nirlgtoestablishprogramsfocontroltoxicchem~ i,r,.. RU..'_. a 9'' '•'" ..... ,..L . · ''
icals,-Lyons said.."It'sthe newfrontiez:" , . ·.• .. ~ans~ffll8 S ~811,;H. -. ·· .. .
chief of the EP& regiorial
Kenl\11tchell.. Air ' .In lookingforriew\v.aystodo .business,Wu0 :
ToxicsAss€$Slllentand ImplementationSection. Iiamsmight want to·exaillineCalifornia,which·
in Atlanta;_sai~~ IpuisvilleMetroAir Pollution Mitchellsaid :sets ~e &old~dard~ for pro- ;
ControlDistrict JSm some wa~ ahead of the gramscontrollingtoxicair ellllSSlons.. ... .. ..:
curve. . · • Since1983,Californiahas beenevaluatingthe :
in Louisvilleare recognizingthis prob- risks that toxic:chelllicajs pose .andadopting '
.'!Y'oti
Iemandtrying to address it sooner.thantheaean measuresto reducethem. That state's measures"
Air Actrequires,"he said :· .·· . are often more stringent't:haI\ the EPA'.s, which :
· Butthe air districtmayhaveto go ~nd the take intQ.accountthe costto indtis'tty. i
minimumrequirements of the Oeari.·AirAct to ·· , .."Wereallyc,!Qn'tcon$ider~wh~it,µ)mesto,:
protectpublich~ said ~ Barnett,director toxics,"said.rercy~ spolresnianforthe..Ca!Fi
of researchat.the Universityof Louisville'~ Ken- fomia Air .Resources Board, ~el). it comes.to:.
tuckyInstitutefor the Environmentand Sustain-' ·.toxics,we aretaJkjngabouthuman lives." :::
: able Developmentand aJomier EPAand ~e . And for the past 15years,Californiahas fl:\-:
naturalresourcescabinetofficial.. · quiredind~ pollutersof.some600 su,bsi;anc-;,,
"Is healthbeingprotected?·The bottomlineis; . es to reportand~ pollutionreleasesand to-;·
not as much aswe like.Westill have.amentillity notifyneighborsof significantrisks.Thosepollu-•
that the atmosphereis a vast oceanand it can ab- .ters posing the greate,st.risks,since 1992,have'
sorb allof these chemicals."· · . · beenrequiredto reducetliemto acceptablelevels.;
. ·BothKentuckyand the metroair districthave Mitchellsaid Calif9rniadoes·a goodjob.of·
catch-allregulationsthey coulduse to do moreto scrutinizing"hotspots~-:- neighborhoodswhere·,
controlhazardous.airpollutants;said LlzNatter, there are an unusuallyhigh Ji.umberof reported '
ari'environmental attomeywhorepresentsthe Si- healthconcerns. . . . .
erra Club'sKentuckychapter. . ·· In San Diego,for example;Californiaofficials
Kentuckyprohibitsownersor opetatornoffa- interviewed 1,500 residents.in a square-mile
cilitiesfrom emitting"potentiallyhazardousmat- neighborhood about their medical problems.
!~r_ortoxicsubroincesinsuchquantitiesordura- They found that many were making matters
worseby.lifestylech~icessuchas smoking;~
fireplacesand using chemicalsolventsor paints.
on their ca.rs. . · .· . . , . Californiais not alone in having~ons ·
air monitorsaround ,
Buttheyalso establishe!d that exceedthe federalminimum.. . . . ·; :··
commercialauto ~hopsand metal-plafulgbusk.I. In-Mi~ for~le, ~n~wmajorp~ ·
. _ nesses. ... . .... . - .· · • .. . andanywithsubstantialmodificationsmust1i:f~
In one case,a ~ ~m~plating b~ess : ~ all the chemicalsthey emitintothe a.ir~.n'9t ··
wasfoundto be releasmga significantquantity of i. . Justthose on a federalor statelist ofregulatedpol-
uncontrolledemissionstoward a .children'splay i .lutants.Michigantoxicologistsclosely:checkthe
area. .·.·.. . . :______
.. .. facilitiesto assure:they don't pose unacceptable.
"Thecombinationof these things leadto very , additionalhealth risks;: :. ·, : ; . , -"~:;::
highratesof diseases,"Ma~·saic1 "Butthe.big- 1 _ · Louisianahas adoptedits air.standardsfo(p.11'
gestactorwasthe small(plating).shopthat didn't , meroushazardous air,pollutants-:!"--100 in all'-' ,,
employmorE:than 20 people,and it was hurting 1-_____.··.Louisiana environmentalregµlators~llire
the community. 1
' .·· ;., · •·. ·- •. .i the Iai:gestsources ofthosepollutantsto usecom-
San DiegoCotin,tyforcedthe company'sclo- .! .. putermodeling.to ensurethat corrcentratiorurbe-.
sure last year. i ..yondplant fence lines do not exceedlegallimits.
ContraCostaCountyin the SanFranciscoBay _.·Thestate alsouses.airmonitorsasacheckonthe
• area hasan ordinancethat requires larger indus- computermodeling.· : ..· , . · .
trialfacilitiesto do puplic"rootcause"analysesof L_______·· While environmentalists say.the Louisiana
any spillsor explosiQP.S and !O switchto "inher-/ standru;ds.are not ~gen~ enou_gh! the limits
entlysafersystelllS"9foperationswhentbeycaij,., ___ _ :... __ would,if they were m placem Louisville; prompt
. . · Th~:<:Q@.ly~·-~ companiesthat use: regulatoryactionon at least twochemicalsfound
· -haianious·materialsto obtain~ land-~e penriit i · in the air:),3-;butadieneand acryloriitrile.. . -
..fortheirconstructfon projects;whichentailsP.ub- . •Butadien~,!IDO~ to ':ll,usecancerin hurria.:r~, ·
,·liehearings . .:J\ndthe!;Owity~ one oil re- and acryioru. .. e; y,rhi~ JS_
nil suspected.ofcausm. g
finery: with a}:iistm:yoftroubieto install 24-houi ~cer, are_ found m ellllSSloru: from ~ chem-
fence-lineair.monitoringwithresults to be post- -- ·····. 1ca.lplants m the Rubbertownmdµstrialarea;bu-
ed on the In.J~..et eythe'!lll.dof this month. · ·. . tadieneis also foundfu IJ?,Otor vehicleexhaust:
•··· California'sSouthCoast.Air Qualify · ---- . ,Those three <:omparues- _Rohmand Haas,
ment District;,vmich mcliidesLos Ange~ Zeon and Am~nca:n,Synthetic ~ubber·Co._.-
. year approveda 2020phase-outof the toxicsol- pledgedreduC1;lons ID ~y, foll~g a Couner: ,
vent perchloroethylene, commonlyusE!d by dry Joumal analysJS.of~e arr mo.nitonng. datalllla \
cleaners , .. , '· _.,· . ·.. > . - subsequentpublicationoftheWestJeffersontask..
Toe cllemicalis amongttie 18pollutantsiden- . fo~ study'sdraft finclin~.Williamssaidthe mej:- l
tifiedas ah.ealththreat inthe Louisville study,ToeJ- · ro arrboard w~uldsoon,mcorporatethosevolun-
metro,districthas a program of inspectingdry., . tary measures ;IP~O a formalboard prde~ . .:
cleaners to.ensure ther meet federal.~., ~ ... know ~e ;itllOt,J.Iltsar~, too~~~d
ments for.record keeping, leak detection and DanHicks,spokesmanfotRolimartdHails. ~ow
properdisposalofwaste; and it alsoinspects·gas·
stationsfor releasesof to~<JJumes~ also con.:
trib~o SI!log.also. ct· .ti:fi.....ed.
· . OIJllllhas. .1 ~. .
a to¥c a.Ifcontammant -:--!1move !hat has
di l
ese
exha. ust.
. as
district;needstplook.~
mcludingsmallerbusmessesand~otprvebicles.
"Everybodyneeds to reduce." . . ..· . -' . "'
all·•
let'stum our attentionto identifyingall the'sourc-
es and·doing.somethingabout it.':'.11 i' , · ,; :' :::..
..... . He.saidthe

promptedit t!>lookfor.ennss10n.cutsm every-• · .. ·.. · , .· , , .•·••·. ,. , -
tbing fi:o.m ~ats to ti:uckstosdlooltiuses. \ . NorthCarofu?a has establisl1edaccepta}J~~lev-
• ·- - ...... ---- --- - · · elsfor105chemicalsorcompoun~ · , ·'•.·
· · The California air board earliet this year'7 Pollutionsorircesne¢citostay6el.~~'iev-
adopteda measuretlwxfu'nri:s ::ii.:hod bus idling at ' e1s,·said LciriChPnv,:headofNoc.I,_,' earo.•:-.\•s·.,;; ..
ornevr schools.Busd.J'!'ie:ts Nillhave to tum their \ -·J rui wl.il .....
miginesoffup·onanivin;za.tschooland am't rei;~ · · ·.toJdcsprogram,and ilieyuse computermodeling
- " 1 to. showwhetller they are staymg imdetthe
0

ta::ti:hemu.nt:iL30 seem,dsbeforedep&.rting.,\_- \ · · · thresholds. · ·· ··
A study funded by the air board found.tJIBt . ,, . .'.
childreninoidefschoolhLiGE'.Smnybreathe sigi:'Jf- .· Her.agencyalso is proposingt()ughei:rero.Ila-
icantlymoreair pollutionth:mthosein newerbµs-- tion of hydrogensulfideemissionsthat woufdaf-
.. es, but pollutioninside e--wmrievverbuses '-3/US feethog farms and pulpandpaperJllills,aswellas
higherthan·outside:fue,vehidet,: · , ,cc <: other businesses: · · ' · · · f' : ', . ,. -
.. "Generally;children are lllGfi: v,.tlnerabl~ than Her
. advice_toLouisvilleresi~eii~reg$.- and
...~dult& ~oa.ir,po}\utants beca1!5t;\fr1ey ~v~ liigl)er tors:."Don'tpomtfingers.Just·sttdown:andt1yto
inhalationrates,murower anw!).ys,ai;idl~)na- ..solve_the,pro"blen1, or eveiybodyis goingto ~.·.·.·:·
ture;fumn.1nesystems;~ttiea.irppa,i:d·~ct. ;}; freakingout · · ·· · ..• . , · · . ::·::~.
,The ~e~~o~ CountyPubli<tS~oolswstem
alreadylimitsiqling.tono morethan fivellllllutes
at schools,saidDrePinkston,the schQ6l-system's
direct~~:~;t J:~:i1~~ has soiigtit
but so been unsuccessful·atobtainingfederal
far
funds to help.,retire older buses,and retrofittail-
pipeswithpollutiontraps.Buthe said the Califor-
nia study'sconclusionshave been disputed;and
he notedthat the.EPAis alsomandatingcleaner
dieselfuelsand enginesin the comingyears;, ...
. Williamspraisedthe JeffersonCountypublic
sch®l system,whichoperatesnearly1,000buses,
for its efforts. . . ·
But he said he hasquestionsabout whether
the five-minute-idling policyis being enforcedor
maybe skirted;he saidhe has seen schoolbu,ses
parkedandidlingfor longerperiodsa fewblocks
froma~ool beforeor aftertheirruns, whiledriv-
ers socialize. .··· ·
. . . B'(MICHAEI.
CLEVENGER,
lliE COURIER-JOURNAi:
SomeJeffersonCountyhomesare locatednear Rubbertownchemicalplantsand a rallyardwheretoxicche111l~a_l_~
a.~eso_'!1_1_1l!~s
~tared•.. ; ·

-----
.. ··-··-··--•- .. ----- --- ----~-- -·--··
I . . l
.
After·EPA
. . criticism
' .·
•·.··•·· . . . . . . ·.. . .
· Noticesof • : /Total fines paid /
violation.sent.to : / to air pollution·.· 1
industries. V control ~istrict
issued ·
air:·district
l$:
1993through Oct. 2003 . : 1993through Oct ?_003
250
_.....::2S2-/ ..,,_in
thousands ·""'7344-
solfieheftyfines · ·
: of dollars ·
!. 500 ---~----11
: 400--------:==.-
ByJAMES
BRUGGERS fl A.focuson repeatoffend-
jbruggers@courier-journal.com ers. · ·· · 100
TheCourier-Journal The newspaper's analysis·
of databaserecordsfroin'l993
Fiveyears1;1go,the U.S.En- through October of this year. ,. 5o·
vironmentalProtectionAgen- found that the pollution·con-.:· 0 0
cycriticizedlocalair pollution . trol district conducts stweral 199;l '95 '97 '99 2001 '03 ; 1993 ·•95 '97 '99 2001 '03
regulators for issuing fines hundred investigations.:~y¢ar.-----------'-----'---------
that were too small. on a wide range of concerns, SOlJRCE:AIR POLLUTIO~ CONTROL DISTRICT THE COURIER'.J,OURNAI
The Louisville Metro Air from open·burning :tcdllegal•·
PollutionControl District re- releasesof toxic chemiGalsby· trices work.on larger, more .visions of their air pollution
sponded by securing several manufacturingplants to
of the largest penalties in its gal asbestosremoval. · twoyears,and saidthe agency
me-
complicatedcases in the past permitslast year.
·Many appear to be minor
50-yearhistory. "When I got here in late has a backlogof between 500 violations, but Williamssaid
A Courier-Journal review 1996,I came with the general and 1,000pending enforce-· some couldbe substantial.All
ofthe metroair district'sinter- sensethat the levelof enforce- ment actions. • . are beinginvestigated,and he
nal database, obtained under .mentand size of the fineswas "I fullyexpect in 2004 and said he couldnot commenton
the Kentucky open records belowwhat it needed to be," 2005wewillreturntothemore ongoinginvestigations.
law, as well as hundreds of said Art Wtlliams,the district recentpicture of enforcement Noveon,which operates a
pagesof state and federaldoc- director. . activities and violations is- chemicalplant in Rubbertowri'
um en tS",also found other Since the peak in 2001, sued,"he said. · in westernLouisville,was one
changesinenforcement: there was a drop in noticesof The newspaper also re- ofthe companiesthat reported ;
IllA200percentincreasein violationto 56 in 2002and 26 viewedthe annualcompliance violations.The companyearli- •
notices of violation issued, thrpugh Octoberof this year, lettersof 40 of the area's larg- er this year reported a
from75 in 1996to 232in 2001. the newspaperfound. est industrialpollutionsourc-
· II Morefrequenton-sitein- Williamsand his staff attri- es and foundthat 16identified
. spectionsof majorfacilities. buted the decline to the dis- violationsof at leastsome pro,
Despite sucb examples, activ~
"pinhole" leak identified in April
2002 in one piece of equipment
-.ists believe the fines are,too low... •·
. . "It's· no.t:really bothering these
"It'sa tangle. ...
called a reactor, and cited a
51-pound release of v!flyl chlorid~,
, companiesor.theywouldhavelow.-
ered the pollution levels we are :
1 . Compliancewith
a chemical that can causecancerm
-humans. ! , ·
seeing at the monitors," said the i
Rev. Louis Coleman, who heads the i ·
. .t?.1tviron]J1,~7:tal
. ..
· · Since then, the companyhas re-· •. Justice Resource Center advocacy i t,egiflqtjqnsre,qu,ite§
·· placed all its reactors at a costof$4 - . group and h~ been pushing for j 1

. million, said plant manager Jeff
Ca.mpbelL - . . . . ··.·.·. .
., pollution cutssince the.early 1990s. i
. : But Beverly Spagg, who heads \
-•-_.
'i;, ·:I
pref!Yste.~P:.
•· "We tQOkthat very seriously,"
•·Campbell), said, adding that he
·" the EP.A:s regional. enforceme1;1t :
· . branch;in: Atlanta, said she 1s i
]~qming;ctilffik,,: 1
.

"·doesn'tknow·whether the pollu~ ""!eased with the metro air district's· 1..
0:tion control district will assess a MIiier,~~l~w•...·
· : -Jonathan
"fine. .: ,, · · ,,._.· er fines,. ed them·_sub~tan-"•.\
call. .
· and said the local agency IS on · managerDt.iPont
. environmental : at.
;:He11vy
;penalties·..·. __ > the right track. ' ·· · ·..· · •
Major industrial facilities ·are' I.
and;(board-·
··• DowElastomers ·;
ofIlleWestJefferson.
.'member
. • Whilethe district has collected :• inspected several:.times .a year:- , TasJt
Force':
' : County:Com·muriliy ·.·
• several mlijor -fines, records shQW
,-that_the mf=(lianfine assessed Yio.;'
.. eight times at Kosmos Cement last ·
. year; 15 at American Synthetic ;
~_.. • --~ :;!• ... · · ._. 1.,_;:
·.-.~, .•..-~;·,
.... ~r::
..-~-
\:.,,;l.::,
i)ators is;~h9ut $400 -; roughly the·•. Rubber Co.· since 2001, 11 at the
...same as 1t;has been since _f993... . . Ford Motor Co. Kentucky Truck
;·· ·•.·A.inong•the major fines -was i Plant since.200land 14 at .LG&E
, $432·;100, collected m a settlement -, Energy's Mill Creek powe~ i:;lant.
'·with Rohm and'Haas;·a Rubber~. / But inspectors have their na..,ds
··toWncompany, after e9mpany offi~ ! full, as tbe rules and permits often
-cials_det¢~ed they haq:n,nscal~, I <1rtd.t.fficu.lteven for envirorunen-
· cµjated hQWmuch pollution they t ,:;J r.,,1;\ess1onalsto understand. 1
produced. \';Fheerror allowed tolu~..i ,..u s a ,angle," said Jonathan I
. eil'e emis$ibns at more than IQ l 1Vliller,envrronmental manager at· 1
_times.their permitted level be,~ i DuPont Dow Elastofuers, and a ,
.. tween 1996:and 2000. . .·. !. • - '.' 1 board member of the West Jeffer- :
· '..· Districti:bfficiais said it was
.the . 1 son County Community Task 1.
· largest fin~:they have ever
-.e<L
collect~
;s;1 · · - • .·,•::. : 1
\ Force, which oversaw a Louisville- ;
_c: •. -:_
area air monitorin~ study that '
. ·.·They .ali;ocollecteda $180~100I identified 18 chemicals at un-
penalty from Borden Chemical i healthful levels over Jong periods
· lric.,'in tpe Rubbertown ar~a,. 1 of expos~
-·)Vhich•tufPed.its~lf in twoyeaf$,•!
•ago after·it had IDIScalculatedph~. I "Compliance with environmen<
nol emissions. ... ·....• · -• · .· ·. : tal regulations requ_ires a pretty:
· ,· -·."We ch~e.not to dratit ciu~ and··! steep Iea,ming CU1YetMiller said. · "I
· go fo~~th corrective actio;"
said Borden plant manager Cliff .. Rep eaf•lijffjn;clers:
····-·.··:··,·. • .·1i . THEC-J i
SYPAMSPALDING,
Hardaway;· . · . .· · In re~e~t:'ye~;thifjnetro._air.i.
. It was· air pollution inspectors district has paid attention to repeat ,I
who uncovered violations at Akzo ! offen~ers:by 'intreasirig'. fi!les, \.
Nobel Coatings Inc., district offi- i someti.n!es .wt:thsuc;:cess,·Wtlliams ··i
cials said. That company was cited I said. ·• ·' · · ·•'-:·, · ·;, : ·. · _,··•I
for record-keeping and monitoring . • The n_ewspaper•~- iari:a.Iysis of_.J_
lapses, and agreed· last year to a 1 district records ct>hfiimedlhat :':'\ .
$222,700 settlement, including a • · For example,· atthe\ Swift-~d OJ
$132,045 fine paid to the district Co. meat processing plant 1n·:\1
and the remainder toward environ- Butchertown, which has produced•. ·
mental improves ; numerous odor com1>lamts over j
rnents, records · the years, fines have ranged frcl~:1!
show.- Eva Addi- , $375 to $14;425 since 1998; ·. ·: · !:
son a metro air ·1 The Cfl,~panyAA5:\i~~·to~nd\i
district engineer- ·· much. more; howey~r, ;cm-~nv:!fon~.1
in1:5supervisor; . mental u.npti>v~nients/;·,:.,;:.·..·;,···.·
said the majority ...•_.·Prompted by'the•district, the
of the district's company has spent $6 million to·re-
fines stem from duce odors, including a new waste-
_what insp_ectors water treatment 'facility, an en-
uncover. closed cooker that doesn't verino
Phelps · The fines as- · the,outdoors and dust controls; •· ·
·sessed by the district aren't the . "We feel like "'we've'·addresseda·
only ones being levied on ·area lot of the issues," said CQmpany
companies; · . spokesman Jim HerlibY.. .
For instance, the EPA acted fol- ,
lowing a, 1997 release of the dan- '
gerous chemical hydrogen fluoride
from DuPont's Louisville plant in-
the Rubb~rtown area, reaching a•;
$1.1 million settlement announced
this summer.
·:-.Hesaid the air district l:ias"set·
·.pretty c!ear p~eters. ~ ' .· ··•..' .
· .· ·· Wilhams said, "I thmk :we've
made some progress." . ·
, He and Terri Phelps, the dis- Top 1.5businessesranked by.total fines
. trict's enforcem.entsu~rvisotI $,9; . . . 1993 through October 2003 · · · .:
.believethey ate making progress ; Rank 81.isiness• Total fines
· at other industrial facilities that •
·have produced numerous neigh-.:
.·borhoodcomplaints. · - •··.·.·: : .. ·2 ..
· For instance; LG&Eagreed'in a',
March 21, 2001,board otderto ad~•:
dress an ongoing.problemof parti,:-: i
· cle pollution ·fromjts,MµI Creek·
plant near ValleyYtllagem south-·;
west Jefferson County, according I
toWtlliams.and Phelps.• , , . , ·th' i
- For its part, LG&E this mon ; .
· announced that it was finishing .a !
$25 millionproject toreduce emis- i ...
sions.at Mill Creek. . ·
. ''We are undertal.tingthis pro- •..
ject because we take our respon- ·
sibilityas a good neighbor very se- I ..
, iiousJy," said Mike Kirkland, gen-.;
_... e:ai n:at1agerof the Mill Creek fa- i :
. cility,.m a wnu:enstatement: . ;
Louisvilleneeds to balance its
new concerns with a long view,
Wtlliainssaid, noting that 50 years
ago.air-qualityofficials monitored .
pollution with buckets atop utility :
poles that collectedsoot fromcoal-
burning furnaces. . , · ·
"Weused to measure pollution
by the in~hesand half inches,"Wil-
liams said. "Nowwe're concerned
about parts per billion;" ·

·~:·"½.... ••. ~ ..•,·,, ·-··

.· · · . . · · ·. .. · . · .. . BYMICHAEL
CLEVENGER,
THECOURIER.JOURNAL::
LG&E
. Energy's
. .
Cane Run power plant hai1reported 1,327 "lipsetsn -malfunctions,.emergencies,
. . , start-ups or shutdowns-since
'
1996, · ·
'ates,e-
ER inVeSH -essennssions
Ii-om'upsets'atindlistrialfa . 1f''~
------- -·-·---- ·-· -- --- ------ -·--- - -- --·--·-· ____··--· ------
/_ - --~-

ByJA.MES
BRUGGERS The existingregulationrequirescom- ,
jbruggers@courier:joumal.com panies to report any incident in.which; Itisusedtoniakesyrith~~and \
TheCourier-Journal emissions,due to malfunctionsor to un- : the metro air district has:identified·the :
foreseen shutdownsor emergencies,are · · .AmericanSyntheticl«tbber·flare stackas \
• On Jtily 26, the American Synthetic or maybein excessof standards. • the main sourceof the chemicaUnfotiis- 1
RubberCo.plantin westernLouisvillewas ·· The LG&EEnergy Cane Ruri power ' IIlllt~<1
·.ville'sa.ii,althoughit is also'.f<>!:l#d.
shutting down for maintenance wllep ii. planttops a list ofupset emitterscompiled torvehicleexhaust ·· · , : , ': • , ,
mal.fuilction occurred . -· . C · by the nt)wspaper.The coal-firedplant in · · ._..,Malfurictionsat ~ere,nt jndustlihl I
~ Thechemical1,3-butadiene,which can western JeffersonCmµrtyreported 1,327 plantscanproduce differenttyp~'of ex-",;
causecancer in humans, was released ... upsets since 1996;artd.461' duringthe first cessemissions;··/ · · . · . _, '. \
froi+t·.aflarestack that normallybums off , 10months of 2002- a pace·thatyear of . <.An LG&Espokesman,DougBenn~· '
··· 98peicentofit. • . : . ·, . ·1 ·· one anda half per day. ·· . , ·-. .· · ·said'that ~e CariEl ~ plantlias}>een \
.... ,. ptatday,,read.ings of tha~,che~cal . Othetsin the top 10include: Kosmos . over-reportingupsetsjusttoJ:>eonthesafe\
: spiJ¥to unsafeI~ at an arr~monitor- · Cement;GE ConsumerProducts,Ameri-: · ·· ·/ side;_andthatthe bulk ofthem~ pro- 11..
. ~sj:ationina~deritialfrontyardahalf- canSyntheticRub~LG&E's.MillCreek I. d ced · · · f · l
po· w·er"
..·P1---·t,theT-..:;...:ne"M'AA: .....,Cent· 'er! ... -· -• ·::iutiofi
'· u in noexcessetp1SS1onso parti
. · . eaway._... , .__ ... . .
..
l<W UJW.:,Vlll t:WIA.I sril.oke:
froi:nbnmincr coal epo- ·
• -·.tWhile LouisvilleMetro Air Pollution steamp~ Rohmand HaasCo.,the Ford 1
. . Inc:,own;~the .Kosmos
CEMEX_· ·

ControlDistrictofficialsdetex:minewheth- MototCo.'s Louisville Assembly Plant,· ,·
~"--_
, S~.'
M,;uu lill1ll ..,.. er·•Distri"
...
po' .. -;-:...:.. ct'.s·•M.. Fior.;
. ms·._·. · plant in southwest Jefferson Coµnty!
ei'thebutadienereleaseviolatedair-qual-. 0 • would not comment on the upsets, sa1d
. ity regulations, theU.S. Environmental ' mati'Wastewafor Treatment'Plannuid · · Da:_:wn.Weiner,apublicrelations_ represen- -1--
_ rrc,~onA'geil · hasproinIB.edan~7 The Chemical
Borderi air district database'which was . .tµ:iveof the Houston-basedcompany. .
· _~~~ ~:~i~od~n'~1:i,~
mation of the r&e malfunctionsplaf m
con~~to toxicair locallyand nation- obtamoo·fuiderthe Kenfucky()pen Re-!
ally. ,',:: . . . . . . . .. . . ' . cords law;showed Kosmoshad between I · Monica Burkhead, a RiversideGardens
. Ir{addition, the .EPArecently has ·67 arid112incidentsper year; GEhad be-'! neighborhoodresident who lives north-
pledgedfull enwomn.ental:insped:ions at , tween 15and 118;and AmericanSynthetic: · eastof the pla:nt,\vhichshe said oct:asion-
11Rubbertowri-areachemical plants. . · ' Rubbei:' between21and IOt Therewere at i ally sends a caustic ash floating down
· /;Withmodem:pollutlcin'controls, rou least 18such eventsattributedto the rub- ! fro th ky.
~he~~~ lived near Kosmosand ex-
· cangetyourselfinto a positio~wherejust bercompariy'sflarestack,whichburnsoff'.
afew. .flareevents. can easilyswamp the beeri {~entlhe<i·:~
the: perienced similarfalloutfrom that plant,
. penriittcif!~~ions," said Bruce Buck-
heit, ~b>fthe
Divisio ,who.was
EP.A'.sAir Enforcement.
not familiarwith the
che::~~ri~h~
leading
___~=~~xic
chemical ofconcem iiiiirisk
air ~n~Dlio~~tsin~~ \.
as-: . ~:ilike "¾\:~~~~~J:r
usedto ,

~ ,js,~
t o co
'!~~C0

.. '"Ill.0c~'on
Qth.ffi~d~edd .•
e 1t:1ease,an
airdistrict,officliils'said theyarestillinves-
. tigating;,"(,'S':i \;/:\::, • .•. . ' .. maffundions,
Tep 10 plantsreporUng emergencies,
::A:Coun_·~rJ.oumal·analysis
·.air districtdatabase
of a metro··
fotincf72 companies
stari..UpS andshutdOWDS (1996 throughOct 2002), «~,{:,· . .·
· reporting 4~1~.n:ialfunctions,emergen~· Company 1 · i 1998 1!199I 2000· •2002 TOTALS
cies, start-ups or shutdowns - often· LG&EErief . .
calleq upsets.- from 1996through Octo-: CaneRLJn'
ber of~ year, the Jllostrecent figures ;
available.'·•· . . 1

:Twelveco!llpanies reportedmorethan;·
Wup~ts iI;i. c_me or moreyears,with fo'!l"f
plants·reportingm:orethan 100upsetsmi
one or moreyears. · .·-· ·· :
· "Mostof them improperlyreported,"[
said EvaAddison,an engineeringsuper-1
visorfor the metro district,because"there•
were no excessemissions." · '
However,that was not reflected.inthe
district's database, and metro·air district·
Director Art Williams and his staff
couldn'tsay how much excessemissions
were releasedfrQmthe 4,193reportedup-
sets.
Williams said be ·is·considering a
change in the district'sregulationsto bet-
ter ensure that companies only identify SOURCE:
AJAPOLLUTION
CONTROL
DISTRICT THECOURIER-JOURNAL
those events.thatproduceincreasedemis-
sions. ·
KimFreenian,-aGE
spokeswoman, CQmpany -officlals
acknowledged the
had thesameviewas LG&E:"Webelieve: Total malfunctions, · . malfunction~an incidentthat American
excessemissionsoccurredonfewifanyof 1
those occasions"at itsAppliancePark op-,
a s1m1· . ' 1 Syntheticofficialssaidsent"blacksmoke"
out the stack- but declinedto com:inent.
,.•·.;,·!
erationsin centralJeffersonCounty.· '
owns.a.. OJ?,~~~ofthepei:ldingairdis-
trict mvestigation. . . · . .:-'.·,,. .;: :
Significance di$pl.l'ted . Louisllille)pla.n.ts
-.. "Wecan say that when anunusualor
Whilesomecompaniesand air district unanticipated(upset)occurs,we;address :
officialsdownplayedthe reported mal- 1996 ttirpug~ Oct.:2002 ,.·· the issueas quicklyas ~Ie.tciretum to.
functions,others- includingone former a normal situation,"spok~!lli James •
Rubbertowncheniicalplantofficial-said Crowley said in a written statement.
the publicand regulatorsshouldpay at- "Ratherthanbeing.concernedaboutth~ ;
tention-to them because they can be a ... events,the pi.Jbliccan.restasswed
that
measureof howwellan industrialfacility .these eventsindicate.that the systems-in
and its pollutioncontrolsare operating. placetoprotectthem areworking:precise:,
CarlHilton,the retiredenvrronmental • ~~~~supposedtode1"~1...·:,c:.> -,.:.'
·manageratthe DuPontcompanyplanton •
Camp GroundRoad,.saidany plant ~ j - - ..... ~,~uons Pllf'.S~~::\
repeatedlyrei::ortsUJ?Sets shou.Idtake a I Nationally,EPAenforcement,official
close look at its ~wpment and proce-: ha:ve:ma~einvestigatingim,ufunqtions a
du.res. ·· • · .... ' ·.i pnoritysmce1998. • • ... " . . , •
"Alarm~ shQtildstartto gooff,"iJii.; 1996 '97 '98 '99 2000 '01 ~ haveconvincedourselvesthere is
. ~ti said/'If.!i:planthasmore jhlµl 2,j (a 1 a problem,andwe haveriegotiaj:edanum-
year), somethingis wrongwith:itspollu-i ' SOURCE; AIRPOI.LlJTION~~i. DISIBIQ"r ber i;ifsettlementswith major.(oil)refui- .
tion·abatementsystem" . <· ers,"Buckheitsaid .. ·_.,c,. ·•,';·,;,',..:,'. ..
. Residentswho live near the Kosmos ."Whathappens (IS)they ~.payipg a .·
and I:.G&Ep~is Ill ~uthwesUefferson:·... •The.regiorialJPAo:ffidiJ.s'saidthey.i wholelotofmoreattention,~amlthe num-
Co1llltyshoulcl4Emllllld.an~oriof · - wantto seeif.theycancorrelateany.ofthe ; ber of eventsthat rel~. exniss.ioos goe~f·_
. the .reported nialfun:ci:iolis;said Erk· Rubbertown· Iant~withincreases in:·I waydown,hesaid ; . : '';//;,;: .
Schaeffer,the formerhead of the EPA'.s · toxicair lev~ atneighborhoodmonitors.: . In all,theEPAhas 42refinenesnation~.
civil enforcementbranch. . . .. • Environmentalists and neighborhood wideunderta.Jcing correctiveiiction. . •• ·
Tohavemore,.thanIOOiriayear~ ab- activistsin Augustrequestedthat the EPA

At one refineryin Toledo,-thf3 EPAde-
surd," he said.··. · · : .. ,.· .. conduct such an analysis:"Weneed to· 1 terminedthat malfunctions:wete':adding
· · \Villiamssaidthat pmnytimes,releai- ' · · · lo.ok af the high hits and seewhichfacil~ . 180tons of.pollutionto the air each,year .
..es of air pollutionduring upsetsare con- ! itiesunderwhat conclitions.are generating./ from1993through1995.~'re staitingto
si.deredlegaland !Ire11otsubj~ to fines • thesehits," saidWtlmaS.ubra,aLouisiana/'. moveintochemicalplants,"Buckheitsaid..
unlessregulatorscan identifyn~ence · chemist who is helping,the Rev. Louis ; "We'vegotsoineconcerns."'~ i;, ; '; '
or a pattel'11 of problemswitha particular · Coleman'sJusticeResource Center in its : SomeRubbertownplant.officials .said .
piece ofequipment, -Willian:issaid. • campaign to get Rubberfuwn~area plants'; that ~efineries~perate diffe,:eµt1y .fro~
~-------··· .··.._..,
..c~--- ' · to reduceemissions.Subraalsoservesortl cherrucalplants aridthat the agencywill ;
Thathas not occiuTed oftenlocally,he not likelyfindsimilarproblems:related to .
said,thoughtheEPAannouncedthissum- · twonationalEPA a<Msocy boards.-::- ·. malfunctionsand otheq1pset; '<::. i
mer that it had reacheda $1.1millionset- TheJuly26butadienereleaseatAn:ier• ·Jonathan Miller;etzyll'Oniriental spe-:
tlement witb_Pul'(}nt'sLouisvilleplant ican SyntheticRubbermay.be one such cialistat.DuPontDow. Elastomers;.•said
over theJl,~iio,~d 1997 release £?fa case, said RussBarnett, director ofre- chemicalmanufacturingplants terid_to
dangero~che_ hydrogenfluonde. . placea greatervalue orithe p~tjs tllat .
Thatwas,9n,¢:9f ;Sixupsetsreportedat
the plarit~: ..e1996-2002 timefi:ame:
~~::~%1:r;tik~~:~i
and SustainableDevelopment.':?'> : .
movethroughtheir ipes and tanksbe:: :
ciruseanywaste is o~n somethingthey •
Williamssai.a'
EPA wants
he's not surehow the
emissionsfrommalfunctions
• '.'..~~rogram has. ll~ri:C.o~~g arr
..mqrutonng·data.for.several·years and
couldsell,he siiid:Hepointedout that his I
plant reportoo,<>nly.one malfunctionlast J

regulated."The EPAneedsto givestron- · stepped,J;IP its ·. . lirig last ~er be- . year and twom 200L.: . ,.·. •·,. · · · . '
gei; clearerguiili\nce, "Williamssaid. fore, dunng an~er the rilbber·plant's But Hilton,the..fonner DuP01,1t envi~ ·
Schaeffer,who recentlyfoundedthe maintenanceshutdown. · ronmentalmana~r, said.closerEPA~~
EnvironmentalIntegrityProject,a group On the dayof the rnalfunclion, thebu- tiny of chemicalplaµ~ ~Jl goodjdea.·.·'.
that scrutinizedhis formeragency;~ tadienelevelwasmeasuredat15:55parts ' "Thechemical,planis have'itcit:l:>eeri at
~~!~ f!i!e~.~~,~~;:~ii
"This is a bigloopholeinthe Clean.Air Act per billionat a monitornear theintersec-
The emissionscan be substantialfrom : tiori of Camp Ground Road.arid:Ralph
th~ events." .. _ i Avenue.· ,. .··· . · have any choicebut to lookinto some of
. That concentration ~ significantly this. Some ofthese companiesshould
EPA's dual focus · l higherthanwhatEPAofficialswouldcon- clemfuptheiract." . ·.·.· •- · ·;,: .
EPAofficialssay they are movingon · ~der safefor lifetime_ exposµre, and much·
two fronts,regionallyand nationally. higherthan whatwouldbe consideredle-
. RegionalEPAofficialsfrom Atlanta gal jn Louisiana,oneof the fewstateswith
have saidtheyintendto closelyreviewthe • air standardsfor hazardouspollutants;..
metro air district'srecordsof comnanies' It alsowasmorethan fivetimeshigher
self-repmtedupsets,whilenationalEPA , than average butadiene readings at the
.. enforcement()fficialssaidthey areabout · monitor from ~ovember 200fto July
to look at chemicalindustryplant upsets.· 2002 Barnettsaid. · . . · ·.
acrossthe UnitedStates. · · .. Williams said the company reported
excessbutadieneemissionsofup to 100 .
poundsduringthe malfunction;and that
might have.been enough to cause the
nearbymonitorto showthe increase.But
he said he do.e.sn'tknow yet whether it
wouldbe deemeda violationbecausehis
engineering staff has yet to determine
whether the release exceeded the com-
pany's limit; and whether it could have
~ prevented.
- ""behindon emission-control
rules
. . . . . . -.- .

~

· BYPATMCDONOGH,
THECOUfllER.JOURNAL
· Tim Duncan,a volunteerwith the Justice ResourceCenter's RubbertownEmergencyActionProgram,held up a sign last monthoutsidethe BordenChemicalplant. Resltlents_oflhe
Rivers.IdeGardensneighborhoodwere ,l)rotesllngagainstair emissionsthey believeto be a healthth"".'t, The companydenies its emissionsare harmlut,,: ·: . . . ·. •
[
!
\
. _, -···--•-- - -•,;,:7".--: ·--··---·

;; "Youcan see the kiiid of ineny-go- -/.~fi~~~fthe EPA io'
1 Agercysays task. ', round we're ori here," said Tirri Dun-
'; can, a volunteer with the Justice Re-,
yearsfodeyefop rules
r¢qiiiring "maximum.
~ diff~c;µ.lttCongress'' ; source Center's Rubbertown Emera ·
; gency Action Progra~. "How many,
available'.1.,p9Hution
control technoi-ogy for
:deif&llile
unrealistic people have spent their childhoods
·•choking from asthma while the·EPAis
industriE:sthat emit siz-
able qi{~ijtities ofthe
' '

diddling around." chemicals. arid com-
.·.·· ByJAMES·BRUGGERS
. ·• ,-At issue is how the federal govern- pounds on
its hazard-
· .jbrtiggers@courier-journaf.com . ment regulates a categozy of air pollu- ous air :polluta.ritslist. .
·· .The Courier-Journal · tion that comprises 188chemicals and They are designed
· compounds deemed especially t<;>xic. to make theworst-per-
; f~It's been nearly 14 years since Con- The EPA actions establish the minis forming facilities in a
. ; gfe~s called on the U.S. Environmen- mum requirements for all states. · givenindustry improve
;. tajProtection Agericyto come up with Unlike other pollutants, such as their emission controls
: regulations to reduce hazardoµs air smog-causing ground-level ozone, to levels near those at
· pollutants to acceptable levels. there are no national air standards for the top of the industry
• Today the agency is almost four haza_rdous pollutants - no levels It's a get-the-jalo-
••years past its 2000 deadline, and by above which communities could face pies-off-the-road strat-
·. most estimates it will likely take at penalties and businesses could face egy, sa:id Jane Wil-
: !eastanother eightyears to finish the tougher regulations. · liams, who follows the
'JOb. ' . ', ' ·• .· .· In the 1970sand 1980s,the EPAat- issue for the Sierra
Because the Louisville Metro Air tempted to adopt health-based air Club.
.··Pollution Control District depends on standards for many of the hazardous Later, in a second
th~ EPArules for guidance, that kind. air pollutants. But the agency only phase, the agency is re-
• of'.1!1-a~hdoe_sn't add up for some succeeded in doing so with seven as quired to revisit each of
l;Quisvilleresidents who learned this the process bogged down in scientific its rules to determine
Y~Jlrt~atthey are breathing air with 18 and political disputes. whether they had re-
o1iem1cals or compounds at unsafe So·in 1990, Congress stepped in duced health risks suf-
levels. with a new, technology-based ap- ficiently. ·
proach,
Keri Mitchell, who '
directs the EPA's re-
gional Risk and Expo-
sure Asse·ssment
Group in Atlanta and
was involved in a re- !
cent Louisville air
study, said Congress
never envisioned a
quick fix for bringing ·.
hazardous air poliu- :,
tants down to accept- i .
able levels,. · _ . . __ I
- "Unfortunately (the) whole proc-·
ess is playing out over a 20-yearpe-
. riod and we're only half waythrough
that'process." · :::._,. . ,
The agencymissed the 2000de~d-:
linefor the first phase of the pollut10n·•
controlrulesfor 174industrialcatego~
ries.Whilesomeofthe4lmajorindus,
trial facilitiesin Jefferson Couno/are
already required to comply with at
leastone ofthe pollutioncontrolrules,
more than-half are still waiting for
: rules that applyto them...
! For example; four Rubbertown ,
/ plants are coveredby a new,366-page I
i rulethatwaspostedNov.10.- \
The plants, Rohm and Haas, I>u-!
Pont DowElastomers,AmericanSyn-.
thetic Rubber and Zeon Chemicals,
willhaveuntil2006to complywith,the ·
rule and to reduce emissions of 11-u-
merous chemicals,includingtoluene; ..
hydrogen chloride, acrylonitrileand 1 . BY NINA GREIPEL, THE.COURIEF.bJOURNAL
xylene. · · · . Dannlf Schweinhart_remo~ed cros~~s:plap,e,C:f
It calls for burning atleast 98 per- outside the Borde11.Chem1cal Plantpn,C,an,1p.
cent of the designatedchemicals.Na- Ground Road ~uring a protest lasttnont~. E~ch
tionally, the EPA estima~esthe 1:1le cross bore the name ofa Riverside Gardens. .
will reduce hazardous air pollutwn neighborhood resident who has died ofcancer
emissionsby 16,809tons annually._·· or a respiratory ailment. ·- --- ···· ·
"Wehave a proJectteam ..: trying '~
to figureout whatwe needto do,''.sai~·
Jana Zigrye, an environmen~al~ngi-
neer at Rohm and Haas; It will likely
require millions
·. -~----··-··
of dollars' worth
._ .._______--··---·· ....
,. --
of
EPA officials said they take the Council's regulatory policy _d,epart-
new.pollutioncontrols,she said. risks from hazardous air pollutants fuent."Changescari'ttakepl~ceover-
At Zeon and American Synthetic : . seriously and have moved as quickly night.Youcan't just vi~in aridflip ~
Rubber, the new rule only affects a!. as they can. They said they faced a switch.You need to thmk through,1t
small part of their processes.and•the' huge job identifying the industries and make appropriatechanges."•· •
companies.are already largely eom- and the technologiesthey used. They The next phase shouldaccomplish
plyingwithit, officialsfromeachplant also said the congressionaldeaplines. even more, she said, · ·.· · · ··. ·
said. . were unrealistic. , ·. Environmentalists have their
James Pew, a lawyer with the "Itjust took a longtime," said Pen- doubts,however.
group Earthjusticewho has repeated- ny Lassiter,who directs the EPAdivi- William.s;who heads the Sierra
ly sued the EPAfor failingto meet its sionthat establishesthe hazardousair Club's air toxics task force; said the
deadlinesfor imposinghazardousair pollutantrules. "Thegoodnews at this EPAis now back where it was iri the
pollutantrules, is frustratedby the de- pointis that we onlyhavefour ofthese 1970sand 1980s,as it attempts to cal-
lays. industrycategoriesleft." . culate health risks from remaining ·
"Thanksto EPAnot gettingthe job They are due out in February. hazardous air pollutantemissions..
done, the guy who.livesnext to a rub- Industry officialssay the EPAhas WIiliamssaid she expectsmorepa-
ber plant in Louisvilleis getting how done well. . · ralysis and more blowndeadlinesbe-
many more years of uncontrolled "It's an amazing feat to have ac- cause the science of assessingrisk is
emissionsinto his house,"he said. "If complished,':said RasmaZvaners,di- so uncertain, and thus open to chal-
that guygets sick,maybehe can thank rector of the American Chemistry lenge, and she notesthat nearlyevery
the agencyfor.breakingthe law."
I
I

• • • • . ~. . .. BYMICHAELCLEVENGER,
THECOUF!iER'.JQURNAL :I
Art ':Afllhams1sd1recto~of the 'Louisv1_1!e
Metro Air Pollution Control District, which reiies on the-federal - · . ..
Emmonmental Protection Age~cy to s_etguidelines on reg~lating ha.zardous air pollutants. TheEPA is almost ·
four yearsoverdueon completmg~at1onalrules for reducingtoxicair emissions. . · •·· .. ...
. .... -··· . . . . ~----

"Theyfeeltheyhavebeerigivenex- : ·
groupof chemicalshasits own indus- 1 cuses for so long." · :0

try lob~yingo~ganization. · i .Louisvilleresidents aren't alone in -,
" EP~.sLassiter acknowledgedthat '. breathing air with many toxic·chem~
a:1Yt1.meyou start.talking about the .! icals and compounds, said Williain
science of health effects, that it be- .i Becker,executivedirectorofthe State ,
comesa lot more difficult"She com- · and TerritorialAir PollutionProgram .
mended the EP.NsAtlanta-based re- .J-•· Administratorsand the Associationof :
gion for working with Louisville to ;i Local Air PollutioniControlOfficers: ·
better understand and address the . As many as 200µlillionAmericansare
risks area residents face from hazard- breathing unhealthylevelsoftoxic air,
ous air pollutants. he said. ' · .
That's little consolation for sonie "What'sjricredibleis that ... there ...
western Louisvilleresidents, many of hasn't beeri the kind of national com-
whom beli~ve air pollution has long prehensive air toxics control effort·
ca~sed senol!s health problems in that's needed" from the EPA,Becker ·
thei: commurnty--cchargesthat com~-. said.
.pamesdeny and governmentagencies ;
have not confirmed. .
"When ~eop!e feel they are hurt, ·
the frustration 1s there;" said Arnita
Gadson, execlltive director of the
West Jefferson County Community .
Tas~ For?~, which oversaw a study .
that identifiedthe toxic chemicalsand
compoundsin Louisville-areaair.
Lo a1data at ·eb sit unreliable
District lacks staff showing dates and types of violations,
.to correct errors in as well as the state or federal govern-
ment's response," according to the
:enforcementreports; EPA.
Yet someone checking to see
.

. whether a local industrial plant had
BvJlUJiES
16Rm.mre~s been inspected recently by.the metro.
jbruggers@courier-joumal.com . air district might find - erroneously
TheCourier.Journal · - that no inspector had been there in
years. Or a fine might be in the wrong
The UB. Environmental Protec- column or missing altogether.
tion Agency operates s.Web site where Local and federal officials ac-
the public can get nearly current eJ?.• knowledge the problem, and say it's
forcement information on approxi- being slowly fixed. .
mately 800,000facilities nationwide. The metro air district's enforce-
. But the air pollution inf?~a~ion ment supervisor, Terri Phelps; said the'
on Jefferson County plants 1s hm1ted Louisville agency -: along with some
and. in some cases, ,.vrong. · other local and state air environment
The Louisville Metro Air Pollution regulators - does not have the man-
~ntrol pjstri~_~only_rece~tJy !JegcJ,~!() power to go back and fill in the blanks .·.
and fix errors. ·
provide information on inspections,
enforcement actions and penalties to : "It's full of erroneous data," Phelps
theEPAinaformatthatallowsthefed- · saidofECHO. ' .
eral agency to make it available on its j ECHO's managers agree thatiocal.
Web site. .· ·! air districts have had a harder time
Called ECHO,for Enf,orcementand. i meeting the Web site's reporting
Compliance History Online, the inter~ c needs but said it's largely accurate for
active site has been operatingJor a .·most areas of the.United States.
year and has received more than 1mil- · "Weknowtherearesomegapsand
iion search requests. It cari be viewed holes, but we are getting more com- .
at www.epa.gov/echo/index.html . plete data," said David Hinden, acting
The site allows people to find com- . director of agency's Enfmcement,
pliance information onfacilities in • Planning, Targeting and Data Divi-
their communities, states or regions i sion. · .. ·
for the past two years. It covers infor- : Of the information on the site,
mation on facilities that must comply • more than 99 p~rcent is accurate, .he
with federal regulations on water pol- · said. The problem is that some juris-
lution, management of hazardous dictions, such as Louisville, have not
wastes and air pollution. ·.· until this year directly entered their
"ECHO reports provide :asnapshot data into a federal comp1,1.ter system.
of a faciliiy's environmental record, The system "is olcland .difficult to
use," Phelps said. ·