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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Bernanke's Financial Laboratory
513 posts, read 748,794 times
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Default Environmental and Other Concerns Questions

I've been reading a lot on here to learn about the area and it's a staggering amount of info to take in given the size of the region. There's a host of topics this thread can cover such as flooding and landslides, but I'd like to start with environmental issues such as power plant locations and other notable polluters that potential new residents should be made aware of to help guide them in their search for a new home or land purchase. Nobody likes surprises, especially unhealthy ones.

To begin: where and what type of power plants serve the Asheville area? Coal power plants concern me the most.

This is a good read for people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigeon_...orth_Carolina))
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
44,370 posts, read 54,887,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamy46 View Post
I've been reading a lot on here to learn about the area and it's a staggering amount of info to take in given the size of the region. There's a host of topics this thread can cover such as flooding and landslides, but I'd like to start with environmental issues such as power plant locations and other notable polluters that potential new residents should be made aware of to help guide them in their search for a new home or land purchase. Nobody likes surprises, especially unhealthy ones.

To begin: where and what type of power plants serve the Asheville area? Coal power plants concern me the most.

This is a good read for people:

Pigeon River (Tennessee - North Carolina) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
I think you'll want to read about Cliffside

Duke's Cliffside Power Plant — Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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Coal is the primary power source here. No nuclear, hydroelectric is to the west and most of it is TVA. Big coal fired plant in Arden area.

A number of super fund cleanup sites in about any direction you care to look. CTS plant also in the Arden area is in the news lately. The plant is long closed, but the ground water is getting worse as the contamination spreads.

Last edited by Asheville Native; 09-09-2009 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Weaverville
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The main power plant I am aware of in the Asheville area is in Arden/Skyland. It seems to be pretty clean with high stacks to get the stuff up over the closeby ridges. Most of the air pollution seems to originate in Tenn at the TVA facilities. They lost a court battle to reduce emissions but tha last I heard were trying to appeal the decision saying they can't afford to make such drastic cuts right now with the bad economy.

The Cliffside facility is east of the area n the SC border and technically I don't even think it is in the WNC mountains. With the location and winds typically out of the west it shouldn't be a big issue around Asheville and west.

There is of course the emissions form the paper mill in Canton west of Asheville. The smell is generally a local thing although it can reacd the ridges to the west of the French Broad River on a bad day.

There is an EPA website that lists all the toxic releases and storage areas in the area, I'll try to find it and post it.

Right now the big issue is the groundwater contamination from the old CTS site out on Mills Gap Road on the other side of the mountain from Arden. There was an article in the Asheville paper today aying that EPA is going to test and additional 100 wells over there for contamination.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Bernanke's Financial Laboratory
513 posts, read 748,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Coal is the primary power source here. No nuclear, hydroelectric is to the west and of it is TVA. Big coal fired plant in Arden area.

A number of super fund cleanup sites in about any direction you care to look. CTS plant also in the Arden area is in the news lately. The plant is long closed, but the ground water is getting worse as the contamination spreads.
Thanks, I had a sneaking suspicion that I was going to get this kind of answer.

Let's go this way. What is the least environmentally contaminated town/region in the Asheville area? An area that's had the least industrial activity and furthest away from the coal power plants?
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cofga View Post
The main power plant I am aware of in the Asheville area is in Arden/Skyland. It seems to be pretty clean with high stacks to get the stuff up over the closeby ridges. Most of the air pollution seems to originate in Tenn at the TVA facilities. They lost a court battle to reduce emissions but tha last I heard were trying to appeal the decision saying they can't afford to make such drastic cuts right now with the bad economy.
The TVA has stonewalled on cleaning up for decades. For a long time they simply took the very arrogant stance "we are a government corporation, and we ain't going to do it".

They are being reined in a bit due to environmental pressures, but as a federally owned corporation they had powers that they abused. The had the power of eminent domain, yet they answer to no one, as there is no citizenry or elected officials.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Weaverville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
The TVA has stonewalled on cleaning up for decades. For a long time they simply took the very arrogant stance "we are a government corporation, and we ain't going to do it".

They are being reined in a bit due to environmental pressures, but as a federally owned corporation they had powers that they abused. The had the power of eminent domain, yet they answer to no one, as there is no citizenry or elected officials.
Yes, but the last I heard they were subject to rulings of the courts. It will be interesting to see if they can wiggle out of this ruling.
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cofga View Post
Yes, but the last I heard they were subject to rulings of the courts. It will be interesting to see if they can wiggle out of this ruling.
Which only puts their attempt to clean up their act and the air 40 - 50 years behind the rest of the power industry.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Weaverville
765 posts, read 1,464,263 times
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Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Which only puts their attempt to clean up their act and the air 40 - 50 years behind the rest of the power industry.
No argument there
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:24 PM
 
16,311 posts, read 14,140,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamy46 View Post
Thanks, I had a sneaking suspicion that I was going to get this kind of answer.

Let's go this way. What is the least environmentally contaminated town/region in the Asheville area? An area that's had the least industrial activity and furthest away from the coal power plants?
Where to begin OK, south, CTS plant now closed but ground water contamination currently in the news and a lot of stonewalling and no action currently. The coal burning power plant, Blue Ridge Plating had a habit of pouring chemicals into the ground.

East, Chemtronics, old munitions plant, history of huge waste ponds, cleaned to some point, but who knows, still fenced off. They made some really nasty stuff there. The old Beacon plant that burned 5 - 6 years ago. As a firefighter I spent 4 days on scene working that fire, saw underground ponds with who knows what. Barrels of who knows what were in there when it burned. We sat pouring a master stream (1500 GPM) on part of it one night, and the flames were every color you can think of as 'stuff' burned. (remember your high school chemistry labs?)

North, closed landfill in Woodfin area along the river, working landfill further north also along the river (French Broad River, which flows north here).

West, The old American Enka plant, huge place that once employed 4000 people, made rayon and nylon, which is a chemical process. Mums the word seems to be the status.

Outside of Buncombe, one hazard most don't suspect are apple orchards that have been sold to developers. Apples are raised with huge amounts of toxins and poisons. Haywood and Henderson counties are big apple orchards areas. Barber Orchards in Haywood was sold to developers, houses built and sold, then it became an EPA Superfund site and the removed a foot of soil from every square foot to remove the arsenic contamination from spraying apples.
There is also a NC Brownfields program, which I have not paid enough attention to fully understand, but the short answer, the seller may not have to be upfront with the previous use of the land. Some crops leave land unfit to live on, i.e. apple orchards.
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