UPDATED VERSION: State issues air quality permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline project

Raleigh, NC

The state Department of Environmental Quality today issued an air quality permit for the Northampton Compressor Station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. After an engaged public process, staff with DEQ’s Division of Air Quality revised the original draft permit to accurately address emissions and require future permit modifications if needed.    

“DEQ actively sought public input on the air quality permit for this project. We received more than 3,700 comments and improved the permit based on that public feedback,” said DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. “This permit requires the company to revise its air emissions projections, to ensure better protections for North Carolinians and our environment.”

The Division of Air Quality staff conducted a comprehensive review of project plans and conducted a broad public engagement process with a public hearing on Nov. 15 and a public comment and feedback period supported through use of community flyers, advertising and a social media campaign. Air quality, demographic and socioeconomic information also was reviewed to ensure equal access to the decision-making process.

Based on public comments received, the division required the company to perform additional air toxics analysis on projected emissions from the Northampton Compressor Station. The supplementary data demonstrated that emissions would be within acceptable thresholds. The division also added air permit conditions to require future analyses if emissions change.

Data shows the project’s use of state of the art controls will mitigate impacts of the project. For example, compressor design, plus additional controls, minimize the nitrogen oxide emissions to 19 tons per year. For comparison, the area’s annual nitrogen oxide emissions inventory is 9,114 tons per year, including all stationary sources and mobile sources, such as cars and trucks.

In addition, the state will initiate an ambient monitoring plan in Northampton County later this year to provide thorough and ongoing air monitoring within the community.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the lead regulatory agency for natural gas pipeline projects. That agency approved the project on Oct. 13 following a public review of the project’s environmental impact statement and a public comment period.

For more information on the pipeline project or to review the approved permits and related documents, please visit: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/energy-mineral-land-resources/acp.

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