"con" asphalt plants arguments

Websites opposing the development of Asphalt Plants near communities

 
 

The contrary case.

There are various web sites that consider the overall risks and long term uncertainties presented by hot asphalt plants to be unacceptable near communities. While some state agencies and Asphalt owners/investor alliances can be conservative in their analyses, some action groups can be radical. Universities, if their funding is not dependent on state or agency or industry contributions, probably are the best source of impartial information. The challenge of the Kunda Park neighbours will be to divine the facts, and real health risks in the short and long term (it that is at all possible at this time).

 

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

Pollution

http://www.besafenet.com/Asphalt.pdf

Asphalt plants mix gravel and sand with crude oil derivatives to make the asphalt used to pave roads, highways, and parking lots across the U.S. These plants release millions of pounds of chemicals to the air during production each year, including many cancer-causing toxic air pollutants such as arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, and cadmium. Other toxic chemicals are released into the air as the asphalt is loaded into trucks and hauled from the plant site, including volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and very fine condensed particulates.[EPA

Asphalt Fumes are Known Toxins. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states "Asphalt processing and asphalt roofing manufacturing facilities are major sources of hazardous air pollutants such as formaldehyde, hexane, phenol, polycyclic organic matter, and toluene. Exposure to these air toxics may cause cancer, central nervous system problems, liver damage, respiratory problems and skin irritation." [EPA]. According to one health agency, asphalt fumes contain substances known to cause cancer, can cause coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, severe irritation of the skin, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. [NJDHSS] Animal studies show PAHs affect reproduction, cause birth defects and are harmful to the immune system. [NJDHSS] The US Department of Health and Human Services has determined that PAHs may be carcinogenic to humans. [DHHS]

Health Impacts & Loss of Property Value. The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), a regional environmental organization, has done two studies on the adverse impacts on property values and health for residents living near asphalt plants. A property value study documented losses of up to 56% because of the presence of a nearby asphalt plant. In another study, nearly half of the residents reported negative impacts on their health from a new asphalt plant. The door-to-door health survey found 45% of residents living within a half mile of the plant reported a deterioration of their health, which began after the plant opened. The most frequent health problems cited were high blood pressure (18% of people surveyed), sinus problems (18%), headaches (14%), and shortness of breath (9%). [BREDL]

full report in:http://www.besafenet.com/Asphalt.pdf 
 

Federal regulation of asphalt plant emissions is inadequate to protect public health.

EPA’s emission estimates (AP-42) are inadequate to protect worker health and public health. Therefore, citizens must join together to protect their communities. Any county or town faced with an asphalt plant proposal should push for setbacks from residences and community buildings, site specific health based air pollution modeling and monitoring, enclosures for load-out zones, and preferably a zero emissions asphalt plant, with total containment of air pollutants.

 

 BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE www.BREDL.org PO Box 88 Glendale Springs, NC 28629 (336) 982-2691 BREDL@skybest.com http://www.bredl.org/pdf/Young&McQueen071004.pdf

 

The EPA Worst Source model

The EPA Worst Source model predicts that the acceptable ambient levels (AALs) would be exceeded 1.8 miles (3000 meters) from the plant (Attachment C). Arsenic, a toxic heavy metal, would exceed AALs 2.17 miles (3,500 meters) from the plant (Attachment D).

 http://www.bredl.org/pdf/comments_LAZ_071023.pdf

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

www.BREDL.org PO Box 88 Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 BREDL@skybest.com (336) 982-2691

   

Concerned Citizens of Gorham

Why should you be concerned about the proposed
Mosher Road Asphalt Plant and Quarry?

Informational Documents
Health Impact Summary
Asphalt Plant Q&A
Fact Sheet
 
CCOG Fliers
Quarter Page
Half Page
Full Page

 

 

Safety: This will be heavy industrial activity with no perimeter fencing close to residential neighborhoods, schools, play grounds, and athletic fields. Within 3 miles of downtown Gorham!
Pollution: Asphalt plants are known to produce toxic air pollutants, including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, and cadmium, that may cause cancer, central nervous system problems, liver damage, respiratory problems and skin irritation. A quarry operation digging below the water table has the potential to pollute groundwater and contaminate neighboring wells.
Dust: The planned quarry will be releasing silica dust into the air on a regular basis. Exposure to silica dust is associated with increased risk of silicosis, pneumoconiosis, tuberculosis, lung cancer, some auto immune diseases such as scleroderma, systemic lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Noise & Odor: Drilling, blasting, rock crushing, back-up warning beepers on trucks, and tailgates banging. Unpleasant odor emitting from: the asphalt plant, asphalt being loaded into trucks, asphalt being transported, and diesel fumes from trucks. 24hrs/7 days a week hours of operation have been requested for the asphalt plant during construction season.
Traffic: Increased truck traffic on RT 25 & RT237 (estimated 120 trucks per day) with no road improvements or modifications to RT 237.
Environment: 100+ acres of mostly woodland will be destroyed, including the loss of animal habitat, trails for recreation, natural beauty, etc.
Property
Values:
The quarry operation is a 50 – 75 year activity that will negatively affect the value of properties all around its perimeter and of Gorham as a whole.


Quarry Blast

Fugitive emissions spewing from an asphalt plant in Westerville, OH

"fugitive emissions" are the release of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP’s) as the asphalt is moved and stored. This source of emissions is neither regulated nor monitored, and depending on the size of the asphalt operation, can release up to 50 tons of toxic air emissions annually.

Chemicals released from asphalt plants and asphalt terminals

  

Are Asphalt Plants Dangerous to our Health?

Are Asphalt Plants Dangerous to our Health?  
 

According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, exposure to asphalt fumes can cause headaches, skin rashes, fatigue, reduced appetite, throat and eye irritation, and coughing. Asphalt paving workers, for example, have reported breathing problems, asthma, bronchitis, and skin irritation, according to OSHA, and studies have reported lung, stomach, and skin cancers following chronic exposures to asphalt fumes.
source:
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asphaltfumes/index.html

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: asphalt fumes are considered potential occupational carcinogens.

 
     
 

About Asphalt Plant Pollution

 

Asphalt plants mix gravel and sand with crude oil derivatives to make the asphalt used to pave roads, highways, and parking lots across the country. These plants release millions of pounds of chemicals to the air during production each year, including many cancer-causing toxic air pollutants such as arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, and cadmium. Other toxic chemicals are released into the air as the asphalt is loaded into trucks and hauled from the plant site, including volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and very fine condensed particulates.[EPA]

Asphalt Fumes are Known Toxins. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states "Asphalt processing and asphalt roofing manufacturing facilities are major sources of hazardous air pollutants such as formaldehyde, hexane, phenol, polycyclic organic matter, and toluene. Exposure to these air toxics may cause cancer, central nervous system problems, liver damage, respiratory problems and skin irritation." [EPA]. According to one health agency, asphalt fumes contain substances known to cause cancer, can cause coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, severe irritation of the skin, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. [NJDHSS] Animal studies show PAHs affect reproduction, cause birth defects and are harmful to the immune system. [NJDHSS] The US Department of Health and Human Services has determined that PAHs may be carcinogenic to humans. [DHHS]

Flawed Tests Underestimate Health Risks. In addition to smokestack emissions, large amounts of harmful "fugitive emissions" are released as the asphalt is moved around in trucks and conveyor belts, and is stored in stockpiles. A small asphalt plant producing 100 thousand tons of asphalt a year may release up to 50 tons of toxic fugitive emissions into the air. [Dr. R. Nadkarni] Stagnant air and local weather patterns often increase the level of exposure to local communities. In fact, most asphalt plants are not even tested for toxic emissions. The amounts of these pollutants that are released from a facility are estimated by computers and mathematical formulas rather than by actual stack testing, estimates that experts agree do not accurately predict the amount of toxic fugitive emissions released and the risks they pose. According to Dr. Luanne Williams, a North Carolina state toxicologist, 40% of the toxins from asphalt plant smokestacks even meet air quality standards and for the other 60% of these emissions, the state lacks sufficient data to determine safe levels.

There is documented evidence from health experts and federal and state regulators of the serious health effects of asphalt plant emissions. We must heed these early warning signs and take action to prevent communities from further exposure to cancer-causing substances released by asphalt plants. The following actions are needed:

  • Moratoriums on asphalt plant construction and operation in communities where people live and go to school;
  • Stricter testing and enforcement of air quality standards at asphalt plants; and
  • Improved air standards that address all toxic contaminants including fugitive emissions.

Even if an asphalt plant meets all air pollution standards, people living nearby are still exposed to cancer-causing substances that can cause long-term damage. These standards are based on the principle of "acceptable risk", and assume each state will enforce the standards, the plants will operate perfectly, and the owners can be trusted to operate on an honor system where they are expected to follow all the laws and regulations that apply to their facility without any government oversight. In the majority of cases, it is unknown whether the `theoretical' air emissions predicted by computer models and used by plant owners accurately reflect air emissions from a plant's daily operations. We must put safety first and shut down or overhaul the current system that fails to protect communities from the daily health hazards of asphalt plant pollution.

 
  
 
  
 

 

 
 
 
 
 



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