A dozen Louisville residents delivered a statement to the mayor outside city hall. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling
A dozen Louisville residents delivered a statement to the mayor outside city hall. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

About a dozen non-west Louisville residents stood at the entrance of Metro Hall Monday morning to deliver a statement asking Mayor Greg Fischer to reconsider his support of an anaerobic digester project.

The proposed digesters would be located at 17th and Maple streets in the west Louisville neighborhood of California. The alternative energy plant would turn stillage from Heaven Hill Distilleries and possibly other liquid waste into methane gas.

Many residents and groups in the West End have roundly opposed the project and spoke out at a recent meeting of the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

Forty-six individuals and organizations from other parts of Louisville signed the statement to show support and solidarity with west Louisville residents. The event was organized by Carla Wallace, a leader with Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice.

“For far too many decades, the people of west Louisville have been ignored, lied to and lied about,” the statement reads. “When it comes to our dirtiest, most health-harming industries, it has been politic to place them in poor, predominantly people of color neighborhoods.”

West Louisville residents have reported that poor air quality tied to Rubbertown and industrial businesses in the area have led to cancer and breathing disorders, among other health problems.

During the press conference, Virginia Bush, a representative for Saint William Church, said the west Louisville residents had done well educating themselves on the project.

“We don’t need to add another assault to what they are experiencing,” she said.

Saint William is located between the Old Louisville and Park Hill neighborhoods.

Steve Imhoff, former Jefferson County Public Schools board member, added such a project would not fly where “fancy people” live.

A representative from the mayor’s office accepted the statement. After calling the mayor’s spokesman Chris Poynter for comment, Poynter texted Insider Louisville stating, “The mayor looks forward to reading the letter.”

Statement in support of west Louisville residents by insiderlouisville

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Caitlin Bowling
Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]