Clean Air  

Asphalt Plants

Citizens for Positive Growth members rally to prevent asphalt plant pollution in Salem, Virginia. (2009)

Asphalt plants are sources of air pollution that may emit significant levels of both particulate matter and gaseous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These pollutants are considered to be dangerous to human health. Some VOCs are also suspected carcinogens or cancer-causing agents. Pollutants include: Hydrogen sulfide, Benzene, Chromium, Formaldehyde, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Cadmium and Arsenic. However, no two asphalts are chemically alike. The chemical makeup of asphalt depends on the chemical content of the original crude petroleum from which it is made. Other manufacturing methods which alter the chemical makeup of asphalt include asphalt cement additives, higher operating temperatures, and the use of recycled asphalt paving cause increases in toxic emissions.

News | Reports, Fact Sheets, Flyers, & Resources | Comments/Letters | Individual Plants/ Companies | Polluting Industry Ordinances


News



Residents Request Comprehensive Review of Three Asphalt Permits
Fear Fatal Flaw in the Future of Caswell County

May 04, 2020: Today, residents of Caswell County made a formal request to the Board of Commissioners for a comprehensive review of existing and proposed paving industry permits in the Prospect Hill and Anderson communities. The request echoed one made Thursday to the Division of Air Quality by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.



Groups Join County in NC Supreme Court Challenge of Asphalt Plant

Jan. 07, 2020: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and Protect Our Fresh Air have joined Ashe County's legal challenge of an asphalt plant permit in Glendale Springs. On January 2, 2020, the citizen groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief, known as an amicus curiae, in the Supreme Court of North Carolina. The groups' legal arguments will be considered by the high court alongside the appeal filed by the Ashe County Board of Commissioners, which also calls for denial of the county polluting industries permit.



BREDL chapter Sustainable Madison airs radio ads

June 2019: BREDL chapter Sustainable Madison has aired 2 radio spots expressing the group's concerns regarding a proposed asphalt plant in Madison County.

Listen to the Ads: Spot 1 | Spot 2


BREDL requests Madison County, NC Board of Health to adopt a resolution recommending a new asphalt plants moratorium

On January 31, 2019, we presented a letter of request to the Madison County Board of Health. At the meeting, the medical director made some very disconcerting comments: that asphalt plant pollution is less worrisome than second-hand cigarette smoke. Clearly, many people do not understand the gravity of the air pollution problem posed by asphalt manufacturing in mountain regions. We are planning to bring the issue up again at the County Commissioners meeting on February 12.

View Letter to Madison County Board of Health


BREDL submits comments regarding SC DHEC Draft General Synthetic Minor Construction Permit for Asphalt Permits

July 25, 2018: The setting of overall tonnage limits as contemplated in the draft GSM is wholly inadequate. It should be abandoned. A practical, enforceable method would be a better approach for the permittees, the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the people of South Carolina.

View BREDL Comments


Reports, Fact Sheets, Flyers, & Resources



Asphalt Plant Flyer Fact Sheets


An Analysis of Asphalt Plant Pollution Impacts on Public Health and Agriculture in Umatilla County, Oregon.

December 2013: BREDL Report 13-346: Toxic air pollution levels based on the permit present an unacceptable level of risk to the residents living near the plant site. The permit should provide no confidence to county officials that public health and agricultural livelihood would be protected.

Download the BREDL Report



NEW STUDY REVEALS ASPHALT PLANT DANGERS

Oct. 23, 2007: Today at a press conference in Spruce Pine, the Mitchell County Citizens for Clean Air and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released an air pollution study of the proposed Young & McQueen asphalt plant which shows that air toxins would be deposited far from the plant site. The League’s report shows dangerous levels offsite of formaldehyde, benzene and arsenic. BREDL Press Release | BREDL Air Pollution Study of proposed asphalt plant | Asphalt Plants Page


Proposed Young & McQueen asphalt plant

October 2007: Proposed Young & McQueen asphalt plant Factsheet - Young & McQueen are proposing an asphalt plant near Spruce Pine in Mitchell County, NC.



ASPHALT PLANTS - CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN

July 30, 2007: ASPHALT PLANTS - CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN: An overview of 7 toxic substances released from asphalt processing facilities and their known effects on human health



Flyer on Asphalt Plant Pollution

Center for Health, Environment & Justice BE SAFE Campaign flyer on Asphalt Plant Pollution (BREDL contributed to this flyer)


Asphalt Plant versus Wood Stove Pollution

Oct. 20, 2005: Analysis: Asphalt Plant versus Wood Stove Pollution - Comparing Apples and Hedgehogs (a household wood stove emits but a tiny fraction of the pollution emitted by an asphalt plant.)


Minority Report on Fugitive Emissions from Asphalt Plants

2001 Minority Report on Fugitive Emissions from Asphalt Plants - This report, submitted to EPA in 2001, was co-authored by BREDL and other groups.


APAC: POLLUTING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES

Sept. 23, 2005: APAC: POLLUTING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES
This is a report on APAC-Atlantic, Inc., one of the nation’s largest transportation construction contractors. The League's report lists APAC's violations of environmental laws and citizens’ complaints for the asphalt plants which the company operates in Rutherfordton, Burnsville, Penrose, Hendersonville and Morganton, North Carolina. Our report is based on public records on file in the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Air Quality. The company’s track record in western North Carolina reveals a corporation that shows little care for the health and well-being of the people who live nearest the asphalt factories it operates.


Hydrogen Sulfide

Oct. 20, 2003: Factsheet: Hydrogen Sulfide - The Human Health Effect of a Toxic Pollutant.


Childhood Brain Cancers Near Asphalt Industry

Feb. 5, 2003: BREDL Slide Show presentation by Dr. Rick Weisler: Childhood Brain Cancers Near Asphalt Industry in Salisbury, North Carolina


Bethel-Cullasaja community health survey

March 8, 2002: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League Bethel-Cullasaja community health survey report. The Bethel-Cullasaja community is the site of an asphalt plant permitted to produce 180 tons/hour and 100,000 tons/year of paving asphalt.


Adverse impacts on property values

March 8, 2002: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense released a study showing the adverse impacts on property values and quality of life around an asphalt plant in Pineola, North Carolina.


Asphalt Plant Campaign Report

Jan. 15, 2001 - Asphalt Plant Campaign Report: This report gives an update on BREDL's campaign to reduce toxic pollution from asphalt plants in western North Carolina. It includes information about six communities which oppose existing or proposed asphalt plants. (including asphalt plants in Pineola , Boone , Jefferson , Cullasaja , White Oak Creek )


Asphalt Plant Flyer Fact Sheets

Maymead Inc. proposed asphalt plant

Maymead Inc. proposed asphalt plant in the Laurel Springs community of Alleghany County, NC. (Oct. 24, 2005)


APAC Atlantic proposed asphalt plant

APAC Atlantic proposed asphalt plant in the Henrietta community of Rutherford County, NC. (Aug. 11, 2005)


APAC Tennessee, Inc. plant

APAC Tennessee, Inc. plant in Murphy on Highway 64 West (Jan. 5, 2001)


Smith & Sons Paving plant

Smith & Sons Paving plant in McDowell County on Highway 221 North (Jan. 2, 2001)


Tar Heel Paving plant

Tar Heel Paving plant in Hendersonville on the Asheville Highway near Balfour School (Dec. 7, 2000)


Maymeade Materials plant - Pineola

Maymeade Materials plant in Pineola near the Linville River Flyer (Oct. 27, 1999)


Maymeade Materials plant - New River

Maymeade Materials plant on the banks of the New River Flyer (Nov. 12, 1998)


Comments/Letters



BREDL letter to EPA regarding Fugitive Emissions

Sept. 15, 1999 BREDL letter to EPA regarding asphalt plant fugitive emissions.


BREDL and WEAG cite numerous flaws with DEQ’s approval of Wythe County asphalt plant.

July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG cite numerous flaws with DEQ’s approval of Wythe County asphalt plant. Groups request DEQ to stop relocation and re-open permitting process. Read Press Release | July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG letter to Virginia DEQ Director Robert Burnley requesting determination of permit exemptions. | More information including BREDL/DEQ correspondence, background, pictures.


EPA letter regarding disease clusters near asphalt industry

June 30, 2003: EPA Region IV letter to Dr. Rick Weisler stating that current laws are not enough to offer "consistent and comprehensive environmental protection strategy." The EPA letter writer urges Dr. Weisler to continue his work to document unexpected disease clusters and contaminant associations near asphalt industry in Salisbury, NC.


BREDL comments on proposed air permit for Ferebee Asphalt Corp.

May 23, 2003: BREDL comments on the proposed air permit for the Ferebee Asphalt Corp. asphalt plant in Optimist Park in Charlotte.


BREDL comments on proposed NC rule changes for asphalt plants

Aug. 20, 2002: BREDL comments before NC EMC on the proposed rule changes under 15A NCAC 2D .0506, 2Q .0306, 2D .1109, and 2Q .0526. (amendments to:  Particulate Emissions, Rules for asphalt plants, Public participation rules, Volatile Organic Compound Rules, Permitting Rules, 112j Case-by-Case MACT Rules and others)  Final comment deadline was September 3, 2002


CAAP files lawsuit for more controls on Tarheel Paving asphalt plant

June 13, 2001 - The Citizens Against the Asphalt Plant (CAAP) files a lawsuit on Wednesday before an administrative law judge seeking to force more controls on Tarheel Paving Co.'s asphalt plant in Henderson County, NC.


BREDL comments on Tar Heel Paving air permit

BREDL Comments on DRAFT air permit for Tar Heel Paving Asphalt Plant, Henderson, NC (March 12, 2001)


BREDL comments on APAC air permit

BREDL Comments on DRAFT air permit for APAC Tennessee Asphalt Plant, Murphy, NC (Jan. 22, 2001)


BREDL comments on Smith & Sons Paving air permit

BREDL comments on DRAFT air permit for Smith & Sons Paving Company, McDowell County. (Feb. 8, 2001)


BREDL comments on Maymead air permit

BREDL Comments at Public Hearing on air permit for Maymead Asphalt Plant in Boone, NC. (Feb. 19, 2001)


Individual Plants/Companies



APAC-Atlantic, Inc

Sept. 23, 2005: APAC: POLLUTING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES
This is a report on APAC-Atlantic, Inc., one of the nation’s largest transportation construction contractors. The League's report lists APAC's violations of environmental laws and citizens’ complaints for the asphalt plants which the company operates in Rutherfordton, Burnsville, Penrose, Hendersonville and Morganton, North Carolina. Our report is based on public records on file in the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Air Quality. The company’s track record in western North Carolina reveals a corporation that shows little care for the health and well-being of the people who live nearest the asphalt factories it operates.


APAC Atlantic - Henrietta community of Rutherford County, NC.

APAC Atlantic proposed asphalt plant in the Henrietta community of Rutherford County, NC.
(Aug. 11, 2005)


APAC-Atlantic - Rutherfordton in Rutherford County

Sept. 23, 2005: APAC: POLLUTING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES


APAC-Atlantic - Burnsville in Yancey County

Sept. 23, 2005: APAC: POLLUTING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES


APAC-Atlantic - Hendersonville in Henderson County

Sept. 23, 2005: APAC: POLLUTING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES


APAC-Atlantic - Morganton in Burke County

Sept. 23, 2005: APAC: POLLUTING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES


APAC-Atlantic - Penrose in Transylvania County

Sept. 23, 2005: APAC: POLLUTING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES


APAC-Tennessee, Inc. - Cherokee County, NC

APAC-Tennessee Inc. proposed plant in Cherokee County, NC. (updated 1/20/01)


APAC Tennessee, Inc. - Murphy, NC

APAC Tennessee, Inc. plant in Murphy on Highway 64 West (Jan. 5, 2001)

BREDL Comments on DRAFT air permit for APAC Tennessee Asphalt Plant, Murphy, NC (Jan. 22, 2001)


Appalachian Materials, LLC - Glendale Springs, NC

Groups Join County in NC Supreme Court Challenge of Asphalt Plant
Jan. 07, 2020: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and Protect Our Fresh Air have joined Ashe County's legal challenge of an asphalt plant permit in Glendale Springs. On January 2, 2020, the citizen groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief, known as an amicus curiae, in the Supreme Court of North Carolina. The groups' legal arguments will be considered by the high court alongside the appeal filed by the Ashe County Board of Commissioners, which also calls for denial of the county polluting industries permit.

BREDL Report on the Pollution Impacts from Appalachian Materials, LLC Proposed Asphalt Plant in Glendale Springs

Oct. 1, 2015: The report concludes that the North Carolina Division of Air Quality's draft permit would not meet state standards for toxic air pollution and recommends that Ashe County take steps to ensure that its Polluting Industries Ordinance be strengthened in order to protect the health and safety of its people.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Report

BREDL August 25, 2015 letter to NC DENR requesting public hearing for Appalachian Materials LLC, Glendale Asphalt Plant.

BREDL Fact Sheet


Carl Rose and Sons Asphalt Plant - near Elkin, NC

Action Alert Update: March 9, 2000 - A Public Hearing was held on March 9 at the Elkin Elementary School. Comment deadline was March 24, 2000. Thanks for your calls and letters which


Carolina Sunrock, LLC - Caswell Co., NC

Residents Request Comprehensive Review of Three Asphalt Permits
Fear Fatal Flaw in the Future of Caswell County


D&S Asphalt Materials - White Oak Creek near Tryon, NC

Jan. 15, 2001 - Asphalt Plant Campaign Report: This report gives an update on BREDL's campaign to reduce toxic pollution from asphalt plants in western North Carolina. It includes information about six communities which oppose existing or proposed asphalt plants. (including the asphalt plant in White Oak Creek )


Ferebee Asphalt Corp. - Charlotte, NC

May 23, 2003: BREDL comments on the proposed air permit for the Ferebee Asphalt Corp. asphalt plant in Optimist Park in Charlotte.


French Broad Paving - Madison Co. NC

Spring 2019: Saving the Jewel of the Blue Ridge Emily Sontag, Sustainable Madison

BREDL chapter Sustainable Madison airs radio ads
BREDL chapter Sustainable Madison has aired 2 radio spots expressing the group's concerns regarding a proposed asphalt plant in Madison County.
Listen to the Ads: Spot 1 | Spot 2

BREDL requests Madison County, NC Board of Health to adopt a resolution recommending a new asphalt plants moratorium
On January 31, 2019, we presented a letter of request to the Madison County Board of Health. At the meeting, the medical director made some very disconcerting comments: that asphalt plant pollution is less worrisome than second-hand cigarette smoke. Clearly, many people do not understand the gravity of the air pollution problem posed by asphalt manufacturing in mountain regions. We are planning to bring the issue up again at the County Commissioners meeting on February 12.
View Letter to Madison County Board of Health


HEH Paving Corporation - Lithonia, GA

June 30, 2015: Today BREDL and its local chapter CHASE recommended that officials in Dekalb County Georgia order a Developments of Regional Impact (DRI) study to assess impacts of a proposed asphalt plant in Lithonia.  DRIs are done for projects likely to have regional effects beyond local government jurisdiction. Pollution from an asphalt plant would have a negative impact on the Atlanta area, which is already designated as being in non-attainment for national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for PM-2.5 and ozone. BREDL Letter


Maymead Inc. - Laurel Spring, NC (Alleghany Co.)

The Alleghany County, North Carolina Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on November 8, 2005 to endorse a plan to zone polluting industries and high impact land uses. The move was done at the request of local residents led by Alleghany Citizens for Environmental Safety (ACES) who are concerned about a proposed asphalt plant locating in Laurel Springs on N.C. 18. The ordinance effectively blocks a polluting industry from locating within 2000 feet of a school, day care, nursing home, medical facility, church or residential dwelling. The vice president of the asphalt company claims that the company’s efforts to build are ‘grandfathered in’ because the company applied for a state air pollution permit. However, no such right is granted by the mere submission of a permit application. View the ordinance that was passed at: http://alleghanycounty-nc.gov/ordinances/1-296.pdf

Factsheet: Maymead Inc. proposed asphalt plant in the Laurel Springs community of Alleghany County, NC. (Oct. 24, 2005)


Maymead Inc. - Watuaga County, NC (J.W. Hampton 421 site)

BREDL and High Country Wataugans Against Toxins Close to Home July 7, 2015 letter to Watauga County Board of Commissioners regarding Amendments to the High Impact Land Use Ordinance.


Maymead Materials - Pineola, NC (Avery Co.)

March 8, 2002: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense released a study showing the adverse impacts on property values and quality of life around an asphalt plant in Pineola, North Carolina.

Jan. 15, 2001 - Asphalt Plant Campaign Report: This report gives an update on BREDL's campaign to reduce toxic pollution from asphalt plants in western North Carolina. It includes information about six communities which oppose existing or proposed asphalt plants. (including the asphalt plant in Pineola )

Maymeade Materials plant in Pineola near the Linville River Flyer (Oct. 27, 1999)


Maymead Materials - Boone, NC

Maymead Materials' asphalt plant east of Boone, NC - page includes various info. (updated 1/20/01)

BREDL Comments at Public Hearing on air permit for Maymead Asphalt Plant in Boone, NC. (Feb. 19, 2001)

Jan. 15, 2001 - Asphalt Plant Campaign Report: This report gives an update on BREDL's campaign to reduce toxic pollution from asphalt plants in western North Carolina. It includes information about six communities which oppose existing or proposed asphalt plants. (including the asphalt plant in Boone)

Maymeade Materials plant on the banks of the New River Flyer (Nov. 12, 1998)


Morton Trucking, Inc. - Jacksonville, NC (Onslow Co.)

February 23, 2010: Testimony of BREDL's Louis A. Zeller before the Onslow County Board of Adjustment regarding Special Use Permit for asphalt plant proposed by Morton Trucking, Inc.


Rhodes Brothers Paving - Franklin, NC (Macon Co.)

Rhodes Brothers Asphalt Plant - This page includes pictures, video clip, and other information (updated 1/20/01)

March 8, 2002: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League Bethel-Cullasaja community health survey report. The Bethel-Cullasaja community is the site of an asphalt plant permitted to produce 180 tons/hour and 100,000 tons/year of paving asphalt.

Jan. 15, 2001 - Asphalt Plant Campaign Report: This report gives an update on BREDL's campaign to reduce toxic pollution from asphalt plants in western North Carolina. It includes information about six communities which oppose existing or proposed asphalt plants. (including Rhodes Brothers asphalt plant in Cullasaja)


Smith & Sons Paving - McDowell County

Smith & Sons Paving plant in McDowell County on Highway 221 North (Jan. 2, 2001)

BREDL comments on DRAFT air permit for Smith & Sons Paving Company, McDowell County. (Feb. 8, 2001)


Tar Heel Paving - Henderson Co., NC

June 13, 2001 - The Citizens Against the Asphalt Plant (CAAP) files a lawsuit on Wednesday before an administrative law judge seeking to force more controls on Tarheel Paving Co.'s asphalt plant in Henderson County, NC.

BREDL Comments on DRAFT air permit for Tar Heel Paving Asphalt Plant, Henderson, NC (March 12, 2001)

Tar Heel Paving plant in Hendersonville on the Asheville Highway near Balfour School (Dec. 7, 2000)


Tri-County Paving, Inc. - Jefferson, NC

Jan. 15, 2001 - Asphalt Plant Campaign Report: This report gives an update on BREDL's campaign to reduce toxic pollution from asphalt plants in western North Carolina. It includes information about six communities which oppose existing or proposed asphalt plants. (including the asphalt plant in Jefferson)


W-L Construction & Paving, Inc - Wythe Co, VA

July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG cite numerous flaws with DEQ’s approval of Wythe County asphalt plant. Groups request DEQ to stop relocation and re-open permitting process. Read Press Release | July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG letter to Virginia DEQ Director Robert Burnley requesting determination of permit exemptions. | More information including BREDL/DEQ correspondence, background, pictures.


Young & McQueen - Mitchell Co, NC

Oct. 23, 2007: NEW STUDY REVEALS ASPHALT PLANT DANGERS - Today at a press conference in Spruce Pine, the Mitchell County Citizens for Clean Air and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released an air pollution study of the proposed Young & McQueen asphalt plant which shows that air toxins would be deposited far from the plant site. The League’s report shows dangerous levels offsite of formaldehyde, benzene and arsenic. BREDL Press Release | BREDL Air Pollution Study of proposed asphalt plant

October 2007: Proposed Young & McQueen asphalt plant Factsheet - Young & McQueen are proposing an asphalt plant near Spruce Pine in Mitchell County, NC.


Polluting Industry Ordinances



LOCAL ORDINANCES: What North Carolina Counties Can Do to Protect Residents from Polluting Industries

LOCAL ORDINANCES: What North Carolina Counties Can Do to Protect Residents from Polluting Industries - North Carolina law grants authority to all counties the power to adopt ordinances under NC General Statute § 153A-121. This is also referred to as the counties’ police power. Legislation approved by the NC General Assembly alters but does not end this power.
BREDL Fact Sheet


Wilkes County Model

An Overview of Polluting Industry Ordinances: The Wilkes County Model


Alleghany Co. NC passes Polluting Industry Ordinance

The Alleghany County, North Carolina Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on November 8, 2005 to endorse a plan to zone polluting industries and high impact land uses. The move was done at the request of local residents led by Alleghany Citizens for Environmental Safety (ACES) who are concerned about a proposed asphalt plant locating in Laurel Springs on N.C. 18. The ordinance effectively blocks a polluting industry from locating within 2000 feet of a school, day care, nursing home, medical facility, church or residential dwelling. The vice president of the asphalt company claims that the company’s efforts to build are ‘grandfathered in’ because the company applied for a state air pollution permit. However, no such right is granted by the mere submission of a permit application. View the ordinance that was passed at: http://alleghanycounty-nc.gov/ordinances/1-296.pdf


Ashe Co., NC Polluting Industries Development Ordinance

Courts uphold Ashe County Polluting Industries Development Ordinance

June 22, 2001: Tri-County Paving, Inc. v. Ashe County:
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Statesville Division upholds Ashe County PIDO in Tri-County Paving, Inc. v. Ashe County decision

Feb. 22, 2002: Tri-County Paving, Inc. v. Ashe County:
U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms District Court's decision in Tri-County Paving v. Ashe County