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JBS Swift Fined $48,000 for Air Pollution Violations at Butchertown Plant

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Erica Peterson
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Pork processor JBS Swift has been cited again for air pollution violations at its plant in Louisville’s Butchertown neighborhood.

The Air Pollution Control District issued the company a notice of violation earlier this month.The letter alleges Swift violated the city’s laws by failing to control objectionable odors, as well as committed several administrative violations.

The notice of violation cites several times this fall that air inspectors detected odors coming from the Swift plant on Story Avenue. At different times, inspectors described the smells as:

•    “medium stock pen odors”
•    “faint urine odor”
•    “dead pig odors”
•    “strong pungent stock pen and rendering odors”
•    “strong, burned rendering odor”
•    “sweet, light bleach odor”

The notice of violation fines the company $48,000. In the letter, APCD Director Keith Talley said the fine could be settled for $36,000 if the company agrees to certain remedial measures.

Most recently, Swift was fined $98,000 for two years of air pollution violations. As with the latest notice of violation, the 2014 notice alleged that the company had let objectionable odors leave the plant, as well as failed to keep up with required paperwork. That violation was partially settled, but the company still has more than $100,000 in fines outstanding from several notices of violation.

APCD spokesman Tom Nord said the district is still hopeful all of Swift’s outstanding fines can be settled. If they can’t, the district could hold a rare administrative hearing to resolve the violations.

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Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.