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. The study shows reductions in property values near the plant of up to 56%. Avery County tax adjustment officials used distance from Maymead Materials, Inc. asphalt plant and noxious odorous emissions as the bases for property value devaluation.
The largest percentage drop was recorded on property located directly across the road from the plant. The largest dollar loss of $45,300 was at a church adjacent to the plant. The study documents property value losses up to 3,200 feet from the plant.
Pineola resident Dale Thompson and many of his neighbors sought tax relief when the asphalt plant effectively reduced their use and enjoyment of their homes and land. Mr. Thompson cited particulate pollution, reduced visibility and vile odors as reasons why he and his family can no longer spend time outdoors comfortably at either recreation or work. Many asphalt plant neighbors blame Maymead and the state for the onset of asthma and other respiratory problems. Other adverse health impacts include frequent nausea and psychological distress.
The Pineola experience with property devaluation give us only a small part of the picture. Before any more permits are given to asphalt plants, states' health officials must conduct epidemiological studies around such facilities. Its simply absurd to say that asphalt plants have no impact.