Organizations & Network — South

Rubbertown Emergency Action
Louisville, KY


REACT is a grassroots organization of residents living near or at the fence lines of a cluster of 11 chemical plants commonly referred to as Rubbertown. The organization was established in April of 2003 as a campaign of the Justice Resource Center and became an independent organization later that year. REACT is fighting for:

  • Strong laws to stop toxic air pollution from chemical plants
  • The protection of residents in the event of a leak, fire or explosion in a chemical plant or railcar.
  • Full disclosure and easy access to information concerning the impact of Rubbertown on residents living nearby

Air monitors located in neighborhoods surrounding the chemical plants revealed that residents have been breathing in at least 18 toxic chemicals at levels sometimes as high as 540 times the health threshold established by the EPA. The 18 toxic chemicals detected by the air monitors, chemicals such as 1,3-butadiene and vinyl chloride, can cause cancer and a number of other medical conditions.

REACT is a campaign of Rubbertown residents who have finally said, “Enough! We’re not taking it anymore,” and are taking action to end Rubbertown’s ‘killer air.’ We believe that breathing clean air is a fundamental human right. We intend to use every avenue and tool available to us — legislative, political, judicial, as well as non-violent direct action, to ensure that our children will not have to breathe the same dirty and dangerous air that their grandparents and parents have for all of their lives.

Many of the people engaged in this fight recognize that it may be too late for us to escape the unhealthy effect of breathing toxic air pollution. Some of us are already sick. But it is not too late for our children and it is for them we fight. Because we want a healthier future for our children, we refuse to stand silently by while chemical plants continue to poison our air. We are standing on the shoulders of people who have been fighting for decades against these chemical plants. We will not tire; we will not falter; we will not fail.