Myth: The plant will bring jobs to Madison County
Fact: Actually, the plant will only create 3-5 jobs which will be seasonal as most plants close in the colder winter months. Many businesses such as Print Pak have job openings that are going unfilled due to a shortage of workers.
Myth: Asphalt plants don't stink
Fact: The noxious odors from the Burnsville plant were very noticeable from downtown Burnsville which was over a mile away from the plant.
Myth: The plant will bring surplus tax revenue to Madison County
Fact: State jobs (such as the widening of 25/70) will not generate any sales tax revenue as they are tax exempt. For non state jobs a tax revenue of $40,000 is estimated; however this is in contrast to $1.83 million tax revenue from the tourism industry in Madison County. Any tax revenue from asphalt is negligible when compared to the tax revenue from tourism, and industry that will be put at great risk by the construction and operation of the plant.
Myth: The plant will be 'State of the Art'
Fact: According to asphalt industry trade groups a ‘State of the Art’ plant is actually totally enclosed to help prevent release of toxic emissions from the stack and from trucks waiting for loading.
The plant proposed by French Broad Paving is not enclosed so therefore isn’t ‘State of the Art’.
Myth:The closest Asphalt plant is too far away
Fact: The fact is the Weaverville plant is less that 11 miles away. The entire county has been paved and repaved without the need to ever have an asphalt plant in our County.
Myth: Asphalt smell is no worse than second hand cigarette smoke
Fact: An individual’s exposure to second hand smoke can be controlled. Residents near the asphalt plant in Burnsville reported that the smoke and oily residue permeated their homes even with all the doors and windows closed. They were exposed to the pollutants almost constantly, without a way to avoid them.
Myth: The compounds that make up asphalt are harmless
Fact: Although the components of asphalt can be found in nature, once they are heated in a hot mix process, they release a significant amount of particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals can cause serious damage to human health and many are known carcinogens.
Myth: The quarry is the best location for an asphalt plant
Fact: With the proximity to the French Broad River, downtown Marshall and many vulnerable populations, this location is uniquely bad for a polluting industry such as an asphalt Plant. The river valley topography of the mountains creates world-renowned temperature inversions which keep pollutants from travelling into the atmosphere and instead traps them close to the ground. Adding another source of pollution to a site that is already home to a quarry and busy concrete plant will create a cumulative pollution effect that will exceed emission limits.