From Ethan Osborne, the Captain of the Kentucky Pirate Party, who’s running as the Independent candidate for US House of Representatives KY-4:
Sign the petition at change.org.
Northern Kentucky has a pollution problem. Not to mention the Ohio River (which is within the territory of Kentucky along its entire northern border) being the most polluted river in the United States serving as a waste disposal waterway for coal fired power plants and other heavy industries dumping directly into the river, we have a toxic styrene problem. From storage to processing of this harmful chemical, our community continues to be contaminated by the negligence and cover up of accidents and leaks at these chemical storage and processing plants. There has been major controversy concerning the TransMontaigne Plant on Route 8 in the Villa Hills/Ludlow/Bromley area.
Styrene is a carcinogenic liquid polymer substance. It is extremely combustible with a flashpoint of 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit and has proven links to lymphohematopoietic cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, and genetic damage in the white blood cells, as well as evidenced for heightened risk of cancer in the pancreas or esophagus. If a leak occurs, Styrene gas is deadly and will sicken and displace thousands of Northern KY residents. According to their own records, the TransMontaigne Plant is only monitored 42% of the time and unmonitored on the weekends, in addition, the TransMontaigne’s zoning application also requested approval for all future production of flammable and explosive chemicals on the Route 8 site without seeking approval from local regulatory boards because they claim requesting such approval is “time consuming and expensive”. (https://www.fox19.com/2020/07/06/nky-community-opposed-facilitys-storage-synthetic-chemical/). This is asinine and intolerable corporate negligence.
Not far across town, Interplastic Corporation downplayed an explosion at their facility back in January that resulted in an hours long shelter in place order, releasing a noxious odor that permeated within miles around the facility. This facility is immediately adjacent to residential areas, and I could smell the fumes a few blocks away from my house. This is not the first shelter-in-place order in connection to the plant. Neighborhoods in the surrounding area of Latonia Avenue were warned to stay inside after a plume of white smoke was observed by multiple witnesses above the plant in March 2019. Covington fire officials stated a pressure release valve failed, causing the chemical leak.
Environmental Protection Agency records document evidence of styrene emissions hitting a nine-year high in 2019 when the company reported the release of 15,505 pounds of the chemical linked to headaches, nausea, weakness, and depression. That same year, an equipment malfunction at the plant caused a chemical release and shelter-in-place order, like the explosion back in January. Styrene emissions reached their second-highest level since 2011.
EPA records indicate Clean Water Act violations in 12 of the past 13 quarter and last year, the company paid a $10,000 penalty over zinc emissions to the Lower Banklick Creek. Banklick Creek is Kenton County’s largest watershed and it is becoming all but a toxic cesspool. Interplastic Corporation is one of numerous sources of contamination of this waterway. The industrial park along the 3L/Madison Pike corridor including the often heinous smelling White Castle Distribution Center, Eaton Asphalt Plant # 1 and most notably the shoddy sewer pipes and continuously failing pumps of Northern Kentucky Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) have all continuously tainted Banklick Creek. A pump installed during replacement of a Northern Kentucky Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) sewer pipe in August of 2017 on Banklick Creek in Independence failed and resulted in a fish kill and contamination of the waterway. Nearby residents said it wasn’t the first time the creek has been contaminated because of the sewer line.
Ironically, Pioneer Park, a locally well-known recreation site surrounded by the eyesore of this industrial park is situated on the flood plain of this polluted creek and routinely is submerged by its nasty waters. I recall wading through this creek as a youth and finding my legs encrusted with putrid green muck. It pains me to this day to still see people swimming in this creek oblivious to the pollution filled toxic water they are being exposed to.
This is yet another brazen example of how deregulatory driven capitalist politicians and industrialist businessmen diluted with indifference and motivated by greed are willing to look the other way while enriching themselves at the expense of the health of our citizens and to the detriment to our environment. The outrageous recent rulings of our renegade SCOTUS enacting further policies of extreme deregulation have opened the gates of unimaginable environmental and public health disasters for the future to come.