PO Box 88 ~ Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:



   JANET M. ZELLER (336) 982-2691
   LOU ZELLER (336) 982-2691
   JOYCE STARR (828) 369-6212


 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 coordinator.

"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:

nitrogen oxides 13,200 pounds/year
sulfur dioxide 7,400 pounds/year
carbon monoxide 50,400 pounds/year
volatile organics  1,000 pounds/year
particulates 10,237 pounds/year
benzene  25 pounds/year
xylene 11 pounds/day
toluene 4 pounds/day
cadmium 0.06 pounds/year
formaldehyde 1,034 pounds/year

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