As we wrote about last month, many residents in Butchertown are fed up not just with the odors coming from the JBS Swift plant that slaughters up to 10,000 hogs per day in the burgeoning neighborhood, but the inability of Metro Government to do anything about it.
However, last week the Metro Air Pollution Control District sent a notice of violation letter to JBS Swift for a long list of air quality violations dating from 2009 to December of last year, fining them $98,750. The NOV is below:
The NOV lists over 40 incidents where residents called APCD to complain about objectionable odors coming from the plant, which were confirmed by APCD employees. The NOV also claims that JBS Swift was late on permiting, failed to report particulate and greenhouse gas emissions, failed to monitor its odor control equipment, and failed to keep monitoring records.
In APCD’s letter, JBS Swift was informed that they could settle the matter for $74,050 if they submitted a plan to control livestock odor in the future by March 28. APCD held out the possibility of fining JBS $10,000 for each day that the plant continued to be in violation.
A press release sent out by the Butchertown Neighborhood Association — who has battled the JBS over the plant’s odors and permits for years — ripped JBS over their continued violations and inability to control odors:
“The alleged violations come as no surprise to anyone who lives or works in any neighborhoods surrounding the JBS/Swift slaughterhouse,” said Butchertown Neighborhood Association President, Andy Cornelius. “JBS/Swift should be held accountable for refusing to follow the law and required to take all steps necessary to keep its animal slaughtering odors out of our homes, businesses and schools.”
The District’s Notice of Violation Letter comes on the heels of a special Courier-Journal report on chemical “Danger Zones” in Louisville. That article noted that JBS/Swift has previously run afoul of District regulations related to its risk management plan for catastrophic chemical releases. The report went on to note that in 2011, just days after paying a fine to the District, JBS/Swift was responsible for an anhydrous ammonia leak that forced workers to evacuate and local residents to shelter in place.
“JBS/Swift’s refusal to play by the rules doesn’t just affect Butchertown.” said Bill Marzian, a NuLu property owner. “The smell of the plant comes right down East Market Street and into our businesses. It should be pretty obvious to anyone that the smell of a slaughterhouse doesn’t encourage foot traffic. As a property owner, I know that if I don’t follow the law, I’m at risk of being shut down by the appropriate authorities. It’s only fair that JBS/Swift should have to control its awful smells or face the same consequences.”
We’ll reach out to JBS Swift and update with their comments on the NOV.