Locals release videos investigating Hominy Creek spill

French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson investigates the Hominy Creek oil spill earlier today. Screenshot from a video posted by Asheville GreenWorks.

Yesterday, Feb. 14, thousands of gallons of oil spilled into Hominy Creek. Since then, local individuals and organizations have posted videos investigating the impact of the spill, including questioning if the measures erected to stop the spill from spreading are effective and showing oil entering the French Broad River. The Asheville Citizen-Times has reported that about 5,000 gallons of oil spilled from a container on the property of a construction company.

In these two videos Asheville GreenWorks’ Eric Bradford and Hartwell Carson, WNC Alliance’s French Broad Riverkeeper, investigate the spill at Hominy Creek and the first boom erected to stop the spill at the Sand Hill Road Bridge. While looking at the boom, Carson says that oil is coming through and “there’s a significant amount of oil coming down 20 hours after the spill.”

The videos were posted on local activist Byron Ballard’s Facebook page as part of a larger discussion about the impact of the spill.

Earlier today local Sheri Barker shared a video on Facebook taken this morning, just past the boom, also observing oil was, contrary to initial reports, entering the French Broad River. She later posted “final stop French Broad River Park. Oil clearly visible and stench is high. I am sad and angry.”

Local photographer Bill Rhodes also released photos showing oil near the shore of the French Broad.

A roundup from Ashvegas notes a comment from Buncombe County Commissioner Brownie Newman that Carson estimates 4,000 of the 5,000 gallons spilled reached the French Broad River and identified the source as APAC Atlantic’s Enka asphalt plant.

Initial reports from WLOS indicated that city officials believed the oil had not reached the French Broad. Cleanup efforts are ongoing. The federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local government agencies are all on the scene.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

7 thoughts on “Locals release videos investigating Hominy Creek spill

  1. bsummers

    Just came from Hominy Creek. Somebody needs to tell all those folks who were there & then left, that the

  2. bsummers

    Have just learned that the boom I saw on Hominy Creek, just before the French Broad, is actually the third of three containment booms, and was put there by the Asheville Fire Dept.

    There are two, theoretically more professional, booms further up the creek, put there by the private company hired to contain the spill.

    But given that there is obviously still oil going into the river, they are not doing the job. Apparently, the company is planning to put more booms across the creek tonight & tomorrow.

    We’ll see. And smell. Seriously, it’s gross what’s being dumping into the river right now. There will be hell to pay for this.

  3. Susan Andrew

    Hell to pay? Most polluters get off with a slap on the wrist at most. Our state environmental agency is effectively hobbled by those in charge in Raleigh now–defanged through repeated budget cuts–and polluters are virtually never forced to make a thorough cleanup (something that has to happen quickly before contaminants disperse).

    • bsummers

      Sorry, you’re probably right, especially since this particular polluter is so well-connected.

  4. D. Dial

    There’s a very long history in these parts of polluters getting away with gross neglect and contamination.

    Ms. Andrews wrote a great article on this history a few years ago. It’s not just the current crop of legislators that has allowed this issue to fester. BOTH sides have sullied hands.


  5. boatrocker

    Glad to see now that the NC GOP has gutted EPA big gub’ment regulations that the free market is so effectively protecting water, aka the stuff that humans need to drink. Go Adam Smith.

    Raleigh, please study the working model of West Virginia. Oh? All ready done that?

    Our water was cleaner under the other guys.

  6. K.

    Isn’t there something we can do, as a town, to bring legal recourse against this company? A petition, or something? This is serious business – it’s moments like these where, as citizens, we need to enact justice. If they can’t manage their crude oil stash, they shouldn’t be in business. Their licenses ought to be revoked outright.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.