'The community doesn’t want them:' Neighbors fight against proposed asphalt plant

Proposed asphalt plant
Posted at 4:49 PM, Dec 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-20 12:22:38-05

OLD HICKORY, Tenn. (WTVF) — Neighbors don't want an asphalt plant in their backyard, and now they're asking Metro Public Health Department to deny the company's air pollution permit request.

Most of the homes in Rayon City were built by DuPont. A plant there manufactured gunpowder during World War I.

"We’ve got the farmlands. We’ve got the industrial. We’ve got the homes — the community. It’s a whole hodgepodge mix of stuff here," neighbor Megan Hinton said.

But now, Hinton and neighbors like her are putting their foot down.

James Crenshaw and Hinton are fighting against a proposed asphalt plant from moving in next door.

"The community doesn’t want them. Nobody in this community wants you here. Not a single person that lives here actually wants an asphalt plant blowing fumes a block from their house," Crenshaw said.

Jones Bros Contractors said they have no comment on their proposed plant.

"Not only am I going to have to deal with the devaluing [of] the only real major investment that I have that’s supposed to be something for me and my kid's future, but also I’ve got to deal with the fact that it's going to be a matter of our health," Crenshaw said.

On Burnett Road, there was an asphalt plant at Hoover Materials for a couple of years. NewsChannel5 interviewed a woman who ended up moving because of it.

Hinton remembers it all too well.

"I’ve got kids, and they love to be outside. The smell was horrendous in the summertime. It’s like a punch to the face in the summer. It’s terrible," Hinton said.

They're also worried about the wildlife. The plant would be next to Old Hickory Lake.

"This area is actually a major bird migratory hotspot," Crenshaw said.

Old Hickory Lake bird
A bird flies over Old Hickory Lake near where an asphalt plant is proposed.

Metro Councilmember Larry Hagar said he was able to get the area rezoned several years ago. He's working with Metro's legal department to see if the proposed plant would be grandfathered in or not.

"Because everything that we grew up with is getting cannibalized for the sake of the people who don’t live here,” Crenshaw said. “I would say that they need to do more for the people that actually live here — not the tourists, not the industry, not the business. The people who actually live here."

Neighbors have until Jan. 2 to get their objections to the Metro Public Health Department. They can email A spokesperson said they've already received dozens of objections.

In addition, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation confirmed they've received a complaint regarding runoff from Hoover Materials into the Cumberland River. They're currently investigating the complaint. However, it's unclear how that could impact the proposed asphalt plant. An email was sent to Hoover Materials, but NewsChannel 5 did not immediately hear back.

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