BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE www.bredl.org
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
BREDL Clean Air


Asphalt Plants

W-L asphalt plant in Wythe County, VA

UPDATE: In mid-Sept. 2003, just days before the plant began operation, the Wythe Co. Board of Supervisors passed an Emergency Ordinance to include setbacks for asphalt plants. W-L sought and received an injunction to operate. In October, a judge in Wytheville ruled against the Emergency Ordinance, thus allowing the portable plant to operate. Currently, there are 81 asphalt plants in Virginia. Of those, 13 are portable plants and 68 are stationary. Although surrounding states (that distinquish between stationary and portable plants) require public notification before relocating portable plants, Virginia does not.

Wythe Environmental Action Group, a BREDL chapter, is fighting the relocation of a so-called "portable" W-L Construction & Paving, Inc. asphalt plant along Black Lick Rd. near Rural Retreat in Wythe County, VA.

W-L Construction & Paving would be allowed to operate this asphalt plant for 18 months, then they could request an extension of operation from the Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality.

This plant may be allowed to operate under a permit that was issued on October 18, 1991 in Scott County, VA.

1991 Scott County permit emissions

Pollutant 1bs/hr tons/yr
Total Suspended Particulate 10.2 3.2
PM-10 7.2 2.3
SO2 26.9 8.4
VOCs 19.2 6.0
NO2 11.5 3.6
CO 11.5 3.6

Although not listed in the above permit, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Benzene, Formaldehyde, Arsenic, and Cadmium are some of the Hazardous Air Pollutants that would be emitted.


When citizens (now WEAG) and BREDL inquired about the relocation, VA DEQ consistently replied that they had not received notification to relocate an asphalt plant in Wythe County. After a Freedom of Information Act request, DEQ "discovered" the notification. Read BREDL and DEQ correspondence as well as the FOIA information. (.pdf)

July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG cite numerous flaws with DEQ’s approval of Wythe County asphalt plant. Groups request DEQ to stop relocation and re-open permitting process. Read Press Release

July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG letter to Virginia DEQ Director Robert Burnley requesting determination of permit exemptions. (.pdf)

Sept. 02, 2003: BREDL and WEAG Appeal to Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board regarding VA DEQ determination of exemption for W-L asphalt plant. (.pdf)