Surviving steep-slope developmen­t

There are few local issues more deserving of the title “hot-button” than steep-slope development. Complex concerns like landslides, watershed conservation, property taxes and mountain views are all wrapped up in it; neighbors living downhill from steep-slope-developments-in-progress have no shortage of opinion on the subject. But rather than fan the flames of controversy, one ad-hoc committee […]

The Green Scene

On the evening of July 22, more than two dozen neighbors gathered at the Spring Mountain Community Center amid Fairview’s green mountains and winding country roads to consider how best to communicate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Several weeks earlier, The Cliffs at High Carolina—a 3,000-acre gated community that will abut many of […]

Downwind

Sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, mercury, ozone, acid deposition, ammonium nitrates, and an alphabet soup of acronyms. At times, the trial that began July 14 in U.S. District Court in Asheville sounded more like an environmental-chemistry class than a court session. After a two-year delay, the titanic lawsuit filed by the state of North […]

The Green Scene

The list of inactive hazardous-waste sites documented by the state of North Carolina is 72 pages long. The inventory lists 47 sites in Buncombe County, but the actual number is probably larger, as not all the sites are documented. Among the ones that end up on this roster are things like landfills, junkyards, shuttered industrial […]

The Green Scene

Elk Mountain resident Kathryn Geitz watched warily last month as a pickup truck pulled up to Ciel, a high-end development site near her home, and people wearing protective suits set to work spraying an herbicide throughout the property. In the following weeks, patches of vegetation turned brown. “The spraying affected us and our dogs,” Geitz […]

TVA trial to begin

A lawsuit with significant implications for environmental health will be heard in Asheville beginning Monday, July 14. The U.S. District Court will consider a case brought against the Tennessee Valley Authority by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. Dirty smokestacks: A lawsuit brought against the Tennessee Valley Authority by North Carolina centers on air pollution […]

The Green Scene

As summer sets in, visitors are once again flocking to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 500,000-acre attraction, which straddles the North Carolina/Tennessee border, boasts half the remaining old-growth forest in the East, more than 2,000 miles of streams, 850 miles of trails and a wealth of biodiversity. But America’s most-visited national park is […]

Oh, the places they’ll go

At the outset of the Asheville City Council’s June 24 meeting, Mayor Terry Bellamy and Council members formally recognized the 29 graduates of the city’s 10-week Citizens Academy. Lawrence Waller, a rising ninth-grader who completed the course with his mother as part of his home-schooling education, delivered an address that would rival any high-school valedictorian’s. […]

Wild and free

With all the hoopla surrounding green products these days, it’s easy to believe that in order to become one with nature, all you have to do is don some organic-cotton yoga pants, bike to an eco-friendly grocery and stroll the aisles, armed with a reusable canvas tote and a keen understanding of the “Nutrition Facts” […]