BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE
PO Box 88 ~
Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone
(336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 18, 2000
JANET M. ZELLER (336) 982-2691
LOU ZELLER (336) 982-2691
JOYCE STARR (828) 369-6212
OPPOSE ASPHALT PLANT POLLUTION PERMIT
Today at a press conference in Franklin,
the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and
Neighbors Against the Cullasaja Asphalt Plant
released a detailed analysis of the pollution
which would be allowed if the state approves a
permit for the Rhodes Brothers asphalt plant.
The NC Division of Air Quality draft permit
totals 83,000 pounds a year of toxic air
pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde,
arsenic and other poisons.
The groups also released a diagram of the
asphalt plant site which shows a pollution trap.
The plant is located in a bowl-like valley on the
banks of the Cullasaja River. "No air
pollution model used by the state can adequately
characterize a plant site such as this one,"
said Lou Zeller, BREDL's clean air campaign
"This draft permit is not good enough to
protect the health of the people of the Bethel
community." Zeller explained that the
special meteorological conditions of air
inversions and pollution trapping are simply
ignored in the state's analysis.
Joyce Starr, president of NACAP, described
the stench, the dust, and the noise which come
from the Rhodes Brothers plant; she said that she
and her neighbors can no longer enjoy their homes
and property. The plant pollution makes
impossible simple activities like cook-outs and
sitting on the porch. Plant odors invade
their homes and workplaces.
BREDL and NACAP are calling on the NC
Division of Air Quality to deny the Rhodes
Brothers permit. By law, the state must
consider a company's track record and financial
status before issuing an air pollution
permit. These and other matters will be
presented at the state's public hearing which
will take place at 6:30 PM on May 30th at
Franklin High School.
Rhodes Brothers Paving wants to operate an
asphalt plant on the banks of the Cullasaja
River. All asphalt plants emit huge amounts
of air pollution, and this 37 year old plant is
allowed to have twice the visible pollution of
newer plants. State officials cancelled the
first air pollution permit for this plant.
A new permit, if issued, would allow the plant to
emit over 83,000 pounds of toxic air pollution
per year including:
These data are taken from the NC Division of Air
Quality's May 2000 draft air permit # 08887R00
for Rhodes Brothers Paving.
More info: Rhodes
Brothers Asphalt Plant