NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An air pollution permit approval has paved the way for a hot-mix asphalt plant near Old Hickory Beach.

The Nashville-based construction company, Jones Bros Contractors, LLC, became one step closer to building the asphalt plant on Burnett Road near Hoover Materials after the Metro Public Health Department granted the contracting company an air pollution permit.

“Having gone through this before, it was not unexpected. Disappointed, yes, but not unexpected,” said Amy Elizabeth, who has lived in Old Hickory since 2012.

This isn’t the first asphalt plant to come to Old Hickory. The Hoover asphalt plant shut down in 2017, but during its time operating in the area, neighbors told News 2 they experienced health issues, and they were forced to breathe in an “unbearable stench.”

“The most impacted obviously are the people who live right across the street. They would get headaches, nausea, obviously they can’t enjoy their home because of the constant stench because it was running 24/7,” Elizabeth said.

Neighbors and Metro Councilman Larry Hagar have been fighting against asphalt plants since 2015. That year, Hagar rezoned the area, restricting where industrial businesses could operate. In addition, he established what he calls a buffer zone, banning asphalt plants from operating within a certain distance from schools, parks, and homes.

However, a 2016 lawsuit which upheld the quarry’s ability to operate asphalt plants preempts Hagar’s buffer zone and rezoning.

“I did all I could do to prevent this, and that’s all I can do,” Hagar said in a phone interview. “If legal says I’m preempted, I don’t know what else I can do.”

Jones Bros Contractors, LLC will build the plant 1,600 feet away from Old Hickory Beach, and just minutes from Zach Haught’s home he moved into five months ago. Despite being new to the area, he said he’s familiar with the problems the previous asphalt plant caused.

“People have had nothing but awful things to say about how unbearable the stench was,” Haught said. “All of the health complications for people who lived here way back when, it’s a little frightening to think we could be on the cusp of that again.”

The asphalt plant’s return might be inevitable, but neighbors said they won’t give up.

“I challenge the fact that legality doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with morality or have anything to do with what’s actually healthy for us, so I do know a lot of great people in this community are going to keep that fight going in the upcoming months,” Haught said.

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News 2 reached out to Jones Bros Contractors, LLC for comment, but didn’t hear back.

Hagar advises his constituents to keep an eye out for problems with the asphalt plant once its built and report any issues to the appropriate agency.