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


JULY 25, 2003

Mark Barker (BREDL) (540) 342-5580
Gary Tibbs (WEAG) (276) 686-5447
Lou Zeller (BREDL) (336) 982-2691
(704) 756-7550 (cell phone)

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

Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League sent a letter to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Director Robert Burnley requesting his office to stop the relocation of an asphalt plant in Wythe County and re-open the plant’s air permit.

W-L Construction & Paving, Inc. is in the process of relocating a portable asphalt plant along Black Lick Road near Rural Retreat in Wythe County.  

BREDL and Wythe Environmental Action Group contend that DEQ did not properly determine the criteria for permit exemption nor did it include public participation.  

DEQ regulations cite five criteria that need to be met in order to exempt the relocation of a portable emissions unit from permit provisions.  Permit provisions include public participation, facility testing, and air quality analysis.  

The five exemption criteria include that the new emissions would be secondary emissions, the portable unit has previously been permitted, the unit would not undergo modification or reconstruction, the unit is suitable to the area, and reasonable notice is given to DEQ prior to relocating the unit.  

BREDL and WEAG point out that W-L Construction & Paving, Inc. faxed a notification at 2 pm on April 17 and at 9:47 am the next morning, the DEQ office in Abingdon granted permission for the company to relocate the plant.  

The asphalt plant would be operating under an air permit that was issued in Scott County on October 18, 1991.  

The groups stated in the letter to DEQ’s Burnley that DEQ should have done a site inspection and a thorough review of the plant’s suitability to the area, as required by DEQ policy and regulations.  

In addition, the groups said that the notification/approval process for this plant was incomplete.


More Info:

July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG letter to Virginia DEQ Director Robert Burnley requesting determination of permit exemptions.

Read BREDL and DEQ correspondence as well as the FOIA information.

Link to pictures, background, emissions for this plant

BREDL page on asphalt plants