Council votes on limiting biodigester for the future

No biodigesters within mile of residences

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Hugs and smiles filled City Hall after a vote in favor of the grassroots movement.

“It was a very sweet victory.  It gives me goose pimples right now to know that we stood for our city and we were victorious,” says Carol Clark, a protestor.

For more than a year, community members have protested biodigesters in their communities.  These biodigesters break down organic materials, like food, and turn it into gas.  And in 2015, a company proposed two potential sites, both in west Louisville.

“My folks, and I've said it before, just can't take another thing. They don't want another thing that they have to live next door to,” says Councilwoman Jessica Green, District 1.

But some on the council say limiting biodigester locations could hurt business.

“I am against outright bans on environmental technology. I think it is short-sighted.  I think it leads us away from a potential opportunity,” says Councilwoman Angela Leet, District 7.

Seventeen members of the council voted in favor of passing the ordinance.  This means any future site of a biodigester could not be within a mile of a residential area, or a school or hospital. 

“The has never happened before and if we allowed this company to come in and settle in neighborhoods, I mean who knows what other companies would be knocking on the door,” says Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, District 3.

Those feeling victorious say they stood up against the city and the city listened.

“Don't even think about trying to dump on this area again.  Because we will stand united.  We will be out here if you try to do this again.  We will come together and we will defeat you again.  Enough is enough is enough.  It's been too much and we said, no more Mr. Mayor,” Councilwoman Woolridge says.

Not only did this ordinance spell out how close a biodigester can be in relation to a residential area, but it's written so no one can ask for a waiver either to go around the rules. 


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