Coastal Review: Ahoskie wood pellet plant looks to increase production

Coastal Review: Ahoskie wood pellet plant looks to increase production

July 16th, 2022

Staff report from CoastalReview.org
A wood pellet manufacturing plant in Hertford County has submitted a draft permit asking to increase production.

Plant officials want to increase production from 481,800 oven-dried tons to 630,000 oven-dried tons.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality is to hold an an in-person public hearing 6 p.m. Aug. 16 on the request and others in the draft Title V air permit renewal for Enviva Pellets Ahoskie plant.

The meeting is to take place in Roanoke-Chowan Community College gymnasium, New Student Services Center, Room 101, 109 Community College Road, Ahoskie.

Title V permits are to comply with permitting requirements under Title V of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

In addition to increasing pellet production, the proposed permit requires the installation of air pollution control equipment and operational limits to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds, or VOC, and total hazardous air pollutants, or HAP. To reduce volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants emissions, the draft permit would require the facility to install a regenerative thermal oxidizer and a regenerative catalytic/thermal oxidizer.

The draft permit limits the facility’s VOC emissions to less than 250 tons per year and HAP emissions to less than 10 tons per year of any one HAP and less than 25 tons per year for all HAPs combined.

The public is invited to attend the hearing and provide its comments on the proposed action. Signup will be available upon arrival. Oral comments at the hearing should be limited to 3 minutes.

Written comments may also be submitted during the hearing or by email to DAQ.publiccomments@ncdenr.gov with the subject line “Enviva Ahoskie.20B.” Comments can be left by voicemail at 919-707-8430.

The public comment period ends at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19. Division officials said all public comments will be considered before a final decision on the proposed permit is made.

Enviva communications team provided July 14 the following comment to Coastal Review:

“In consultation with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ), Enviva submitted a draft Title V permit for our Ahoskie wood pellet production plant to renew the existing air permit with modifications to enhance the plant in terms of efficiency, environmental performance, and production. A major highlight to the permit application is to install additional state of the art air quality control equipment to further reduce emissions. The requested expansion permit would bring total permitted production capacity to 630,000 oven dry tons of pellets per year, up from the current permitted 481,800 oven dry tons of pellets per year. Enviva will install the new air quality controls before being allowed to pursue the higher level of production.

“This type of investment of capital and our company’s resource allocation demonstrates our strong environmental and compliance leadership in the industry, as the world’s largest wood pellet manufacturer. It is also representative of our company’s core values of caring for our people and forests, accountability, and integrity.”

Copies of all data and the application submitted by Enviva Pellets, LLC – Ahoskie Plant are available for public inspection on the DAQ website or in person by appointment only at NC DEQ Division of Air Quality, Air Permits Section, 217 West Jones St., Suite 4000, Raleigh, or Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

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