City Fines Rubbertown Company Over $600,000 for Violations

by Erica Peterson on October 12, 2011

An aluminum company in Louisville’s Rubbertown neighborhood has agreed to a settlement with Metro Government in response to several alleged record-keeping and pollution violations.

The proposed agreement fines Eckart America $668,250, and sets up a plan to help the company come into compliance with its permit.

Last May, an explosion caused by aluminum dust at the Eckart plant injured two workers. Assistant County Attorney Stacy Fritze Dott says the penalties aren’t related to the incident, but the compliance plan could indirectly help prevent similar accidents.

“I don’t know that it would necessarily prevent it, but if the company is running a tight ship and keeping track of their equipment and part of the record-keeping function is to notify the company if there’s a potential problem or anything along those lines, so it all goes hand in hand,” she said.

Fritze Dott says the penalty is on the high side as far as Air Pollution Control District fines go.

“Part of the reason why that penalty is so significant is we looked at records that they had maintained or failed to maintain over the past five to six years,” she said. “We found several instances of non-compliance with the permit and with our regulations.”

Eckart was issued two notices of violation that detailed various problems including failed record-keeping, excess emissions and missed inspections. Calls to the company for comment were not returned.

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