Despite opposition from Hendersonville and Sumner County leaders, Nashville's Metro Public Health Department has agreed to issue a permit for the construction of an asphalt plant along the shores of Old Hickory Lake.
Industrial Land Developers, LLC, applied for the permit in December for property it owns at 771 Burnett Road in Old Hickory. A rock quarry was approved in 2015 for the site - located near the Old Hickory Dam - despite an outcry from that area's residents.
The asphalt plant permit was recently approved by the Metro Public Health Department's Air Pollution Control Division.
"After a careful review, we believe the operation will comply with all applicable requirements, provided the sources is operated as indicated in their application," reads an April 6 letter to Hendersonville city officials from Tom Sharp, Director of Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Metro Public Health Department.
"Since the application complies with all applicable requirements, the Health Department is issuing the construction permit for the proposed hot mix asphalt plant."
The department has also received a permit application for a concrete plant from Smyrna Ready Mix to be located on the same property, according to the letter.
"The application for the concrete plant is complete and a public notice will be published on April 15, 2017, beginning a 30-day public comment period," the letter states, adding that no date has been set for when a decision will be made regarding the concrete plant permit.
Hendersonville's Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed a resolution Feb. 28 opposing the asphalt plant's construction. Sumner County leaders passed a similar resolution March 20. Both resolutions occurred after the Metro Public Health Department's 30-day public comment period on the project.
According to Metro Health Department Public Information Officer Brian Todd, the department received around 80 emails and 17 letters during the public comment period in opposition to the asphalt plant. Todd said that by law the agency can only consider whether local, state or federal requirements are met when issuing a permit.
"There's no personal discretion," he said. "If [a company] meets all of the requirements, then by law we have to issue a permit."