Erin McDermott moved into the Old Hickory neighborhood just as the Hoover Asphalt plant began it's operations in 2016. She quickly learned why residents fought so hard to keep it from moving in.
“You can’t be outside. So when they’re cooking asphalt, if its in the morning or anytime that they’re cooking you cannot be outside. Its just too toxic,” McDermott explained.
On March, 9 the company submitted a permit to the state. If approved, it would mean the wetlands currently on the property would be demolished to make room for the plant's expansion.
“Its really our right to be able to stand up and talk about things that are affecting our community,” she said.
McDermott said the public notice was posted quietly and has only given them 30 days to file an appeal, which is the least amount of time required by law.
“If you really cared about the residents in your neighborhood or where you were, you’d give them as much of an advanced notice as possible to discuss what was happening,” McDermott explained.
She fears doing away with the wetlands that are left will inevitably lead to flooding problems in the future.
"if that dam blows or if they continue to work through these wetlands we’re going to see more flooding," she said.
News Channel 5 reached out to the mayor's office for comment but as of Friday evening, had not heard back.
The Department of Environment and Conservation said it's looking into the issue. Meanwhile, residents are left fearing what may happen next.