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Air Permit Issued for Enviva Pellets Sampson, LLC Permit requires installation of additional emission control equipment

Raleigh

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has issued an air permit for the Enviva Pellets Sampson facility located in Sampson County, which includes added requirements to address concerns of people in the community.

The permit incorporates air pollution control equipment installed at the plant in December of 2018. The regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) controls emissions from the greenwood hammermills and the dryer and reduces volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and hazardous air pollutants. 

Under a settlement agreement, Enviva has agreed to install additional equipment to control emissions of volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants from the dry hammermills, pellet presses and coolers. The permit requires applications for that control equipment to be submitted within 6 months.

Department staff thoroughly reviewed the comments received on the draft permit during the public hearing and comment period. In response to concerns raised during the public process, staff requested and reviewed 

additional analysis and modeling.  Air quality staff also clarified language in the permit addressing startup, shutdown and malfunction events. The new language limits the time of start-up and shut-down events.  The new language also requires best operating and maintenance practices during start-up, shut-down and malfunction events, and adds semi-annual reporting requirements for all monitoring activities.

The permit includes a testing regimen to ensure controls are operating properly and emissions do not exceed permitted limits. Initial testing is required when the permit is issued and upon completion of the softwood expansion project, which would increase production up to a permitted limit of 657,000 oven dried tons per year. Periodic testing is required when either the softwood percentage or throughput increases by 10 percentage points.  Additional semi-annual reporting requirements were also added for all monitoring activities.

The final permit, final permit review, hearing officer’s report and environmental justice impact statement are available on the department's webpage at https://deq.nc.gov/EnvivaSampson.

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