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'We have to stand up for them': Lake Forest residents make final push to block concrete plant

Friday, Nov. 11, is the last day to submit comments to the Air Pollution Control District online.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The final meeting about a controversial concrete plant was held Thursday night in Old Louisville.

Sunshine Industries (SI) Ready Mix would border Lake Forest, an eastern Jefferson County subdivision. It's a proposal that's angered many residents there.

The Air Pollution Control Board (APCB) held Thursday's public hearing; it’s the first, and last one before the Air Pollution Control District (APCD) decides on whether to issue the permit.

"I'm not asking just for my neighborhood. I'm asking for all of Louisville,” one Lake Forest resident said. “This does not need to happen anywhere."

Due to the nature of the public hearing, the APCB did not respond to the resident's concerns. The district will respond in a written document, and then the district will release its decision.

SI Ready Mix wants to build the concrete batch plant on Aiken Road. The company previously told WHAS11 the plant would be no closer than 400 feet from the road, would create a barrier of trees, reduce production capacity, avoid school pick-up times and would include other mitigation efforts.

In a statement read at the meeting, Metro Councilman Anthony Piagentini (R-19) said he was upset that the public hearing was not where previous meetings had been in the past, which were across the street from the proposed plant.

A doctor from Cincinnati Children's Hospital said he's studied the harmful effects the dust from the plant can have.

"No level of air pollution is safe, but even short single days of high air pollution can cause inflammation in the lungs associated with the risk of increased hospital admissions for cardiovascular respiratory admissions,” Dr. Cole Brokamp said.    

It's a risk Dane Mattingly, a Lake Forest resident, said is too big.

"Everybody who lives around us, we all have young children who we know this is going to affect and we have to stand up for them,” he said.

At the Nov. 3 Planning Commission meeting, a lawyer for SI Ready Mix tried to reassure skeptics by showing a photo of a Butchertown home with a swimming pool, right next to a concrete plant.

Friday, Nov. 11, is the last day to submit comments to the district online.

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