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Developers Back Off Plans For Methane Plant at West Louisville FoodPort

Seed Capital Kentucky has removed plans for one of two methane plants proposed for West Louisville neighborhoods following community backlash against the project.

Seed Capital Kentucky, the nonprofit developer of the FoodPort in the Russell neighborhood, had plans to partner with Indiana-based Nature’s Methane to have an anaerobic digester plant at the site of the FoodPort. Nature's Methane will reportedly continue with plans for the other plant near 17th and Maple streets.

On Thursday, Seed Capital Kentucky said in a news release that it “submitted a revised development plan to the city that shows facilities for farmers, educators, distributors, food processors, startups and retailers [and] has removed plans for a biodigester previously shown on the site."

Anaerobic digester tanks are about three stories tall and turn food waste into methane gas.

Last week during a community meeting, West Louisville residents told representatives from Seed Capital and Nature’s Methane that they were staunchly opposed to natural gas plants in their neighborhoods.

The residents expressed concerns on issues ranging from odors the plants could emit to traffic created by trucking food waste into their neighborhoods. About 100 people attended the meeting.

Stephen Reily of Seed Capital Kentucky said scraping this part of the FoodPort project was motivated by the community’s input during the meeting last week.

“We felt that good neighbors listen and for that reason we have taken it out of our current plans,” Reily said.

Nature's Methane CEO Steven Estes told The Courier-Journal that the company "remains committed ... to its plans to build a second biodigester to compost byproducts of bourbon production on 8 acres near Heaven Hill."

But a presentation to Louisville's Board of Zoning Adjustment of the company's plans for that site, which was scheduled for Aug. 17, has been postponed, The C-J reported.

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