ASHE COUNTY-Will Glendale Springs be the future home of the county’s newest asphalt plant?
This question has weighed heavy on all involved parties in what has turned into a highly contentious debate, which ultimately prompted moratoriums on asphalt plants and similar facilities while elected officials mulled over revisions to the county’s polluting industries ordinance.
That moratorium has since passed and the county, as well as the legal system, are no closer to resolving the legality of the plant’s operation.
All interested players have anxiously awaited the results of a judicial review launched by the county, which claims the county’s own planning board erred in its earlier decision to overturn the denial of a permit to Appalachian Materials to build such a plant. To date, the county has spent at least $75,000 in legal bills fighting the plant. County officials have not offered any comment on this sum.
To drum up opposition to the plant, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has launched claims that pollution from the plant would adversely impact the health of citizens and the terminally ill children that come to nearby Camp New Hope.
Most recently, BREDL Director Lou Zeller has proposed a resolution to the board of commissioners supporting action regarding the air permit issued by the division of air quality for the asphalt plant.
Appalachian Materials Operator D.J. Cecile has taken issue with the league’s claims that the plant would emit an excessive amount of toxins or pollutants into the air.
He referenced a published report supporting his claims.
Christopher Lewter, permit engineer in the…
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