JEFFERSON-Ashe County Commissioners extended the county’s moratorium on new permits for polluting industries to another six-month increment Monday morning.
The board was unanimous in its decision.
Since 1999, the county has been protected by the Polluting Industries Ordinance, but a proposed asphalt plant in Glendale Springs has reignited calls for revisions and greater protections. That controversy began last summer.
In response to this, county commissioners voted 5-0 on Sept. 8, 2015 to hold a public hearing for amending the existing PIO. Then, on Oct. 19, the board unanimously adopted a six-month moratorium on new permits under the PIO.
The HILU creates two polluting industries categories. Class I includes asphalt plants, incinerators, quarries, stone crushing operations, concrete mixing plants, pulp mills, chip mills and saw mills. Class II includes chemical manufacturers, chemical storage, explosives manufacturers and warehouses, fuel storage centers and medical waste disposal centers.
Discussion of the ordinance and the dialogue between the county commissioners and the planning board – the governing board tasked with writing a new regulations – has been contentious at times.
In March, the commissioners sent a draft of the proposed ordinance back to the planning board asking for greater setback distances. That board then changed the draft ordinance to meet commissioner demands.
Reach Jesse Campbell 336-846-7164.