Jefferson Co. residents gather at forum to speak out against coal ash


by WHAS11

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 21 at 1:22 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- More than 70 frustrated southwest Jefferson County residents gathered Monday speaking out against coal ash.

"There’s more regulation of the trash that goes in the landfill with the trash from your garbage than at a coal ash landfill," Thomas Pearce, Sierra Club organizer said.

From the podium and their seats inside the Southwest Government Center off Dixie Highway, residents like Greg Walker spoke out against LG&E and the coal ash that comes from plants like one off Cane Run Road.

"There’s health risks with it. My grandkids stay sick, I stay sick. Everybody up through there has sinus problems, breathing problems and nobody can tell me coal ash in healthy for anybody," Greg Walker who lives off Cane Run Road said.

It wasn't just residents speaking out. Kentucky State Representative Joni Jenkins urged those in attendance to keep pushing legislators for action against coal ash, though it may seem like an uphill battle.

"Unfortunately the chair of the natural resources committee is a coal person. He makes his living off coal and they feel any regulation is going to hurt coal," Jenkins said.

Metro council woman Attica Scott helped organize and moderate the forum.

“We were intentional in not inviting LG&E or the Air Pollution Control District. Often times when they're in the room residents are less likely to speak up," Metro Council Woman Attica Scott (D-1) said.

It's a topic residents promise not to shy away from.

LG&E Spokesman Chip Keeling gave the following response Monday:
"LG&E meets all standards set by the EPA and the APCD. We investigate and handle all complaints made by residents. LG&E monitors and tests what is what comes from facilities. When there are public meetings we want to be involved to share our data with the community."