DEQ Sets Public Hearing Date and Accepts Public Comments for Blue Ridge Paper Products Proposed Wastewater Permit Modifications and Variance Removal

Raleigh, North Carolina

The Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Division of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct an online public hearing Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 6:00 PM to review proposed amendments to the Blue Ridge Paper Products, LLC’s (d/b/a Evergreen Packaging) effluent discharge permit. Public comments will be accepted through January 29, 2021. The permit sets limits and guidelines to the discharge of industrial, stormwater, municipal and landfill leachate wastewaters into waters of the state.

Blue Ridge Paper has requested renewal of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge permit for its facility located at the Blue Ridge Paper Products Wastewater Treatment Plant, located off Highway 215 (175 Main Street), in Canton, to receiving waters designated as the Pigeon River, French Broad River Basin.

Revisions include changes in current monitoring requirements at the Fiberville Bridge and removal of a color variance. DWR agrees with the removal of the color variance, based on improved stream conditions noted during a reevaluation, including significant improvements to instream concentrations of color in the Pigeon River. DWR concludes the variance is no longer necessary. A summary of the history of the variance, review of applicable regulations, and a reevaluation of the stream conditions may be viewed here. DWR also agrees with the proposed renewal of the federal 316(a) temperature variance.  A fact sheet summarizes DWR’s rationale in developing the NPDES permit limits and monitoring conditions.


To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the hearing will be held remotely. Members of the public may participate online or by phone.

Date: January 20, 2021
Time: 6 pm
WebEx password: Nk2BCEzm7P2
WebEx phone number: 1-415-655-0003
WebEx access code: 171 787 6586 (Please see information below regarding registering for, joining, and commenting at the public hearing.)

Registration must be completed by 12:00 pm on January 20, 2021. For online registration issues, please call 919-707-9011 or email by the registration deadline of 12:00 pm on January 20, 2021.


Public comments are being received through January 29, 2021.

Public comments may be emailed with “Blue Ridge Paper Products” in the subject line to, or mailed through the USPS at:

Wastewater Permitting
Attn: Blue Ridge Paper Products Permit
1617 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1617

Comments will be considered in the final determinations of permit issuance and provisions, and variance removal.

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