The PON Foundation Mission Statement

The PON Foundation, Protect Onslow County Neighborhoods is made up of concerned citizens whose main goal is to protect our neighborhoods from environmental and health issues. Community empowerment through education and responsible stewardship is our focus. We are a non profit community action group which is dedicated to protect and preserve our quality of life.


Asphalt plant faces opposition... Daily News Article.

Asphalt plant faces opposition 
DAQ holds public hearing at White Oak

March 02, 2011 3:56 AM
HOPE HODGE, Daily News
John Althouse/The Daily News
Karen Eldred holds a picture of her child
as she speaks during a hearing at
White Oak High School
held by the Division of Air Quality
on a permit for a proposed asphalt plant
to be built in Jacksonville
Opinions were fervent and emotions ran high Tuesday night at a public hearing on a draft air quality permit for a proposed asphalt plant to be installed near Piney Green Road in Jacksonville.

Plans by Morton Trucking Inc. to build the plant were approved in February 2010 by the Onslow County Zoning Board of Adjustment, but the project was hotly contested by environmental groups shortly thereafter.

In April 2010, the Onslow County chapter of the Protect Our Neighborhoods Foundation filed a legal challenge to the special-use permit for the plant, citing the danger to area residents of airborne chemicals emanating from the plant. The permit application was first received in October, but N.C. Division of Air Quality officials paused the 90-day approval period in November to allow the community to share its views before proceeding further.

And the skeptics in the community were on hand Tuesday night at White Oak High School to share those views to Air Quality officials on hand to address issues surrounding the project.

Read the rest of this Daily News article HERE...


IMPORTANT!!!! See you March 1st at WOHS for Public Hearing Meeting!

A note concerning the meeting on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at White Oak High School (6pm) by Pon Foundation president, Carolyn Humphrey...

Greetings To All,

Morton Trucking has applied to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Air Quality, for approval to construct and operate a hot mix asphalt plant at 121 Garnet Lane Jacksonville. A Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity for Public Comment for this proposal will be held at 6pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, at White Oak High School located at 1001 Piney Green Rd. Jacksonville NC. This Hearing will be held in Cultural Arts Building. I encourage all to attend and voice your opposition to the approval of this application. Plan to arrive early so you may sign up to speak. Please continue to write letters, contact people in your neighbor and all contacts you might encounter. The attachment is a flier which can be printed out for disbursement or emailed. There will be copies at my office, Durwood Humphrey & Sons Construction 1124 Clayton Humphrey Rd. Continue to write your public officials and Brad Newland. Anyone who would like to testified at the hearing the following are some helpful talking points:

· Time allotted is 3 mins.

· Your address and how close you live to the proposed asphalt plant,

· How many people in your family and if anyone has any illness.

· All MD letters need to be presented

· A nuisance is an unfair burden place on you and your family that affects your life, use and enjoyment of your home, the property value of your house.

· Do you consider the existing activities to be a nuisance?

· Do you think it will be a greater nuisance if the proposed asphalt plant is in operation?

· The application calls this a "Greenfield" site, meaning it is a new site, but it does not mention all of the other activities going on there -- the landfill and the mining operation. The additional impacts from the asphalt plant could greatly add to the problems there already.

· How have the activities there impact you and your family?

· Has there been dust, noise, etc. from the existing activities?

· You can mention the landfill burn a few yrs ago and how there was debris from that

Additional info:

The application says that the asphalt plant can operate 8760 hours annually, i.e., 24 hours each day. It also says that the expected output of asphalt will be the same summer, fall, winter and spring. Does this make sense?

If you cannot testify or if you have more to say than in three minutes, write a letter. Written comments will be accepted until March 11, 2011 and can be sent to: Dean Carroll, Permit Engineer

N.C. Division of Air Quality
Wilmington Regional Office
127 Cardinal Drive, Extension;
Wilmington, NC 28405

or via e-mail at

See you there,
Carolyn Humphrey

Would you want an asphalt plant in your neighborhood?

Would you want an asphalt plant in your neighborhood?

Would you want an asphalt plant in your neighborhood? You probably never gave it thought, to be honest, neither had I until a local company filed for the proper permits to build and operate one approximately one mile from my home. Since the company’s announcement to build I have acted like a mad man studying the effects and “what ifs” of a hot mix asphalt plant on local citizens. My studies reveal a reoccurring theme; asphalt plants release millions of pounds of chemicals in the air during production each year. These toxins are unhealthy to breathe and present a problem for citizens living within six miles of a plant. I even joined a local organization of concerned citizens called the PON Foundation (PON), an acronym for “Protecting Our Neighborhoods”, to help in the fight to stop this plant from being built at the proposed location. Asphalt plants should not be allowed to operate in residential areas. I have donated time, money, and service in this fight to protect my family and way of life on this issue.

On February 23, 2010, the Onslow County Board of Adjustment voted to issue a Special Use Permit to Morton Trucking Inc., which will allow the company to build a 200-ton-an-hour asphalt plant near Halltown Road and U.S. 17 (Maps). Areas within a six mile radius that will be affected include: Piney Green, Wolf Swamp, Kellum, Pumpkin Center, Country Club, and the Commons. Largely populated housing developments affected are Country Club, Country Club Hills, Highland Forest, Regalwoods, Fieldcrest, Sunset Acres, Fox Horn, and Jacksonville Commons. Several schools, preschools, apartments, churches, and businesses are also included in the six mile zone that will experience implications from this plant.

A 200-ton-an-hour asphalt plant will release millions of pounds of chemicals to the air during production each year. These chemicals include many cancer-causing toxic air pollutants such as arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, cadmium, lead, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and very fine condensed particulates (BRENDL, BRENDL - Asphalt Plant Fact Flyer Sheets). Asphalt fumes contain substances known to cause cancer, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, severe irritation of the skin, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Louis Zeller, science director for the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BRENDL) stated in an interview with the Daily News that, “Arsenic, benzene and formaldehyde are very harmful to children, the elderly, the infirm, and those who work and play outdoors”. Zeller added, “Asphalt pollution is big pollution and exposure to low levels of benzene and other pollutants in the toxic soup emitted by an asphalt plant have been known to cause Leukemia and negatively affect the immune system and bone marrow” (Dewitt). The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that very fine condensed particulates called particulate matter can pose the greatest problems because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into the bloodstream. Scientific studies have linked particle pollution, especially fine particles, with a series of significant health problems, including: decreased lung function; aggravated asthma; development of chronic bronchitis; irregular heartbeat; heart attacks; and premature death in people with heart or lung disease (EPA).

Cedars at Northeast Creek
8x10" oil plein air
Bernie Rosage Jr.
 Asphalt plants bring other concerns to communities beyond health issues. Local landowners will suffer adverse impacts to their property values. A 2003 study by BREDL on property values around a North Carolina asphalt plant showed a 27 percent average drop in property value and a 56 percent decrease in areas closest to the plant (BRENDL). Environmental issues cause another concern, especially how run-off from the plants aggregate piles can affect our rivers and drinking water. The proposed plant site adjoins a protected area of wetlands on the Little Northeast Creek. Heavy rains from hurricanes and nor’easters, common to our area, could prove devastating to our local rivers as the Little Northeast Creek feeds the Northeast Creek which runs into the New River. The water and river concerns have brought the New River Foundation and the White Oak-New Riverkeeper Alliance organizations into the fray. All their hard work protecting and cleaning up our rivers over the past decade could easily be wiped out with a single hurricane. Our rivers and coastline draw tourist from all over the state and beyond, one can only imagine the economic impact on Onslow County if we lost these prized resources.

Most people embrace new industry which bring jobs and revenue to our area, myself included, but there are cases where the costs outweigh the profits. An asphalt plant in a populated area is such a case. The proposed plant is said to employ four to ten people on site. The county revenues generated by these salary numbers will not come close to offsetting the loss in county property taxes due to the 27 to 56 percent decrease in property values. There have been claims that we breathe in toxins every time we fill our car’s gas tank. This is true but the two minutes a week it takes to fill our tanks cannot be compared to the twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week that an asphalt plant releases toxins into the air. Some may argue that the North Carolina Division of Air Quality has the responsibility of keeping our state’s air clean and monitoring asphalt sites to make sure they follow proper guidelines. This is true, but the unabashed truth is that they are underfunded, under staffed, and cannot monitor all the state plants in a timely fashion.

View from my driveway.
The fight to stop the proposed site of this asphalt plant is a personal one for me. I am a landscape artist and the idea of not being able to paint outside in my own yard frightens me. As an artist, I know the dangers cadmium and lead can present since they are incorporated in many oil paints. I make sure I use the utmost care when handling them. I am also aware that toxins do not have to smell to present a problem. They can be odorless as in the odorless mineral spirits I use to clean my brushes which is extremely dangerous if not properly handled.

My daughter and
painting buddy,
Art is my passion and my livelihood. The real cause for my fight goes beyond passion, livelihood, and property values; I fight for my daughter’s health and way of life. My nine year old daughter has asthma and an asphalt plant in our neighborhood means that she will never be able to play outside in our yard again. I’m not against asphalt plants; I enjoy driving on paved roads, I merely have no use for them in our neighborhoods. A simple solution is to build the plant in an unpopulated area where people could have the choice to live near it. When the bottom line and a handful of jobs are more important than our quality of life, we are in a sad state of affairs.

All paintings in this blog post were painted en plein aire near my home. All are within the area that will be affected by the proposed asphalt site location. Most of the locals will recognize these scenes. Sad to think that if the permit is granted by North Carolina Division of Air Quality I will never be able to recreate these paintings on location ever again without adverse health effects!

A concerned citizen, artist, and father...

More paintings...

Works Cited

"BRENDL." BRENDL- Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League . 5 February 2011 .

BRENDL. "BRENDL - Asphalt Plant Fact Flyer Sheets." October 2005. BRENDL- Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. 5 February 2011 .

—. "PROPERTY STUDY SHOWS ADVERSE IMPACTS FROM ASPHALT PLANT." 8 March 2003. BRENDL - Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. 5 February 2011 .

Dewitt, Molly. "Board says yes to asphalt plant." 24 February 2010. 4 February 2011 .

EPA. "Particulate Matter: Health and Environment." 28 October 2010. US Environmental Protection Agency. 3 February 2011 .

Maps, Google. "Google Maps: Proposed Asphalt Batch Plant." 20 November 2009. Google Maps. 6 February 2911 .

PON. "PON Foundation." 2010. The PON Foundation: Protect Onslow County Neighborhoods. 5 February 2011 .


Public Hearing date rescheduled for Tuesday, March 1, 2010

New Date Set for Public Hearing on Permit for Onslow County Asphalt Plant

28.01.11 - 23:40 NCDENR

... RALEIGH - The N.C. Division of Air Quality has rescheduled a public hearing on a draft air quality permit for a proposed asphalt plant in Onslow County, with the new date set for March 1. A previously scheduled hearing on the permit was postponed due to snow and ice. Morton Trucking, Inc. has applied for a permit to build and operate a hot mix asphalt plant at 121 Garnet Lane in Jacksonville, N.C. The permit deals with the control of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and other air emissions from the proposed plant. The public hearing has been scheduled for 6 p.m. March 1 at White Oak High School, 1001 Piney Green Road, Jacksonville, N.C. Individuals may register to speak at the hearing and/or submit written comments.


Hearing for 1/11/11 CANCELLED... to be RESCHEDULED with 30 day notice!!

I am writing to inform you that due to the inclement weather conditions the decision has been made to cancel the public hearing scheduled for 6pm on 1/11/11 at White Oak HS concerning the proposed Morton Trucking, Inc. asphalt plant. A new hearing will be arranged, and another 30 day public notice of this new hearing will be posted in the Jacksonville Daily News once scheduled.


Reminder about important meeting 1-11-11

Greetings To All,

I hoped your Christmas Holiday was wonderful! I have thought of all of you during the holidays..

Now that 2011 is here its a New Year and it's time to do the job of stopping North Carolina Division of Air Quality from issuing Morton Trucking an air permit. We can do It! Unlike the Board of Adjustment meeting the Air Quality will listen to our concerns that this proposed asphalt plant will have on us. We need to express all of our concerns to Air Quality. Our concerns with the Air we breathe and the effects this proposed asphalt plant will have on our day to day lives. Our concerns of reducing harmful pollutants that cause or contribute to asthma, emphysema, heart disease and other potentially fatal ailments.

On Tuesday, January 11, 2011 @ 6 pm a meeting at White Oak High School will be held to hear the concerns regarding the proposed asphalt plant will have on our community. The North Carolina Division of Air Quality will hold a public meeting to determine issuing Morton Trucking an air quality permit. Morton cannot operate his proposed asphalt plant without this permit.

Therefore we need to attend this meeting and voice our concerns.

I have attached a flier for anyone wanting to print and pass them out to their neighbors. I also have copies for anyone and they can be pick up at Durwood Humphrey & Sons Const. Co.
Any questions please call or email me.

I look forward to seeing everyone at this meeting,
Thank you
Carolyn Humphrey


Margaret Meade quote...

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world... indeed, it is the only thing that ever has..."
Margaret Mead

PUBLIC HEARING GRANTED ~ Mark your calendar for January 11, 2011

Greetings To All,

GOOD NEWS, we have been granted a public hearing for Morton's proposed asphalt plant!

The time to ACT is now!

A community hearing with the North Carolina Division of Air Quality is scheduled for Tuesday January 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm in the White Oak High School.


This meeting will be different then the Board Of Adjustments meeting because what we SAY matters.

We can stop this plant from destroying our community by doing the following:

  • Contact as many people as you can to attend the Jan 11th meeting.
  • Write letters and call the Gov. of NC , the Mayor of Jax. and County Comm.
  • You can pick up your NO ASPHALT yard signs at the office of Durwood Humphrey & Sons Construction Co located at 1124 Clayton Humphrey Rd.
  • Write letters to the editor of our newspaper and Raleigh's newspaper, we need to make noise
  • Attend the next City Counsel and County Commissioners meeting


This is crunch time!
Time is running out!
It's all or nothing!
We need your help!

We cannot let this proposed asphalt plant destroy our health, our quality of life, our environment or our property values. This is our community, our family, and our way of life! Act now! Any questions call me @ (910) 389-3914

Thank you,
Carolyn Humphrey


Pick up and Display your NO ASPHALT PLANT signs NOW!

You've seen them displayed all over our neighborhoods... concerned citizens saying NO ASPHALT PLANT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS!

Have you displayed one in your yard yet?

If not... You can pick up your NO ASPHALT yard signs at the office of Durwood Humphrey & Sons Construction Co located at 1124 Clayton Humphrey Rd., Jacksonville, NC.

The PON Foundation, Protect Onslow County Neighborhoods, is a group of concerned citizens whose main goal is to protect our neighborhoods from environmental and health issues. Community empowerment through education and responsible stewardship is our focus. We are a nonprofit community action group dedicated to protect and preserve our quality of life. JOIN The PON Foundation in its fight against a proposed asphalt plant in our community.


We have a responsibility to "Pass it on down"!

The lyrics in this Alabama song and video hammer home the responsibility we have as stewards of our environment and leaving a legacy for our children.