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DAQ Issues Air Quality Permit to North Carolina Renewable Power

Raleigh

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has issued an air quality permit for the North Carolina Renewable Power facility in Lumberton, Robeson County. 

The air permit is a major modification to the previous Title V permit that allows the facility to burn wood and poultry litter in two boilers to generate steam that is used to generate electricity. Under the previous operating permit, the facility was classified as a minor source based on accepted, enforceable limits of 250 tons per year for multiple pollutants regulated under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. In 2017, the facility and DAQ entered a Special Order by Consent to address noncompliance issues under that permit, including the exceedance of allowed emissions.

The new permit reclassifies the facility as a PSD major source to reflect the current emissions, operating scenarios and additional boiler modifications and requires the facility to implement Best Available Control Technology on its boilers and other emission sources.

A public hearing was held on a draft of the air permit on Feb. 21, 2022. Division staff thoroughly reviewed the comments received on the draft permit during the public hearing and comment periods. In response to community concerns, the new permit includes additional requirements for testing hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions. DAQ also added operational restrictions into the permit, prohibiting operation of a fourth belt dryer until the facility demonstrates compliance with the HAP avoidance limit through this testing.

The permit contains conditions that provide DAQ the compliance and enforcement tools necessary to ensure the facility is operating as represented in its permit application while complying with state and federal air quality regulations. The facility will be subject to unannounced compliance inspections. Required stack testing for particulate matter will also be required and made publicly available.

The final permit, the final permit review, the hearing officer’s report and the environmental justice report are available online.