The name "Rubbertown" refers to an industrial complex in west Louisville along the Ohio River. It gets its name from tire and synthetic rubber plants that were built there during World War II near existing refineries. The area now has plants that produce a wide variety of chemicals and materials.
Air pollution emissions and odors associated with Rubbertown have long been a source of concern for nearby residents. Citizen organizations such as REACT (Rubbertown Emergency Action) have formed to advocate for more assessment and control of air emissions and stronger chemical accident prevention requirements. In 1996, the West Jefferson County Community Task Force (WJCCTF) was established by the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness (then the Jefferson County Department of Health) to identify problems in the area.
Subsequent studies like the West Louisville Air Toxics Study (WLATS), conducted between 2000 and 2005, found that Louisville's air had unacceptably high levels of toxic air pollutants, particularly in the areas around the Rubbertown complex. On June 21, 2005, the Strategic Toxic Air Reduction (STAR) Program was officially implemented through a set of regulations adopted by the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control Board to address emissions from stationary sources, including those in Rubbertown.
The STAR program and federal air pollution laws like the Clean Air Act are implemented through air pollution permits issued to industrial sources of air pollution by the APCD. Since STAR was passed in 2005, emissions of toxic air contaminants (TACs) have dropped almost 80%. Emissions of Category 1 TACs, those that posed the greatest risk during the WLATS, have decreased by about 96%.
The APCD is also operating new equipment at its Algonquin Parkway Air Monitoring Site to monitor for specific TACs of concern. APCD’s recent report on the project notes that there have been significant reductions in ambient concentrations of, and health-based risk produced by, many pollutants of concern in the last few decades.
Rubbertown Map & Facilities
- MPLX Terminals - Algonquin (Gas Terminal)
- Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center
- Buckeye Terminals, LLC (Gas Terminal)
- Valero (Gas Terminal)
- Chevron (Gas Terminal)¹
- Carbide Industries (Chemical Manufacturing)
- Lubrizol Advanced Materials (Plastic and Resin Manufacturing)
- Zeon Chemicals Synthetic (Rubber Manufacturing)
- Recast Energy Industrial (Energy Service Provider)
- The Chemours Company (Chemical Manufacturing)
- Eckart America Corporation (Aluminum Smelting and Alloying)
- Rohm and Haas Kentucky (Plastics and Resin Manufacturing)
- Altuglas International (Acrylic Manufacturing)
- American Synthetic Rubber Co. (Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing)
- MPLX Terminals - Kramers Ln. (Gas Terminal)
- Citgo (Gas Terminal) 18
- Bakelite Synthetics (Formerly Hexion) (Plastics and Resin Manufacturing)
- TransMontaigne (Gas Terminal)
- DuPont Specialty Products USA (Chemical Manufacturing )
¹ Minor Source