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State Issues Air Quality Permit to World Cat Greenville; Continues Compliance Investigation

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has issued an air quality permit to World Cat Greenville, a fiberglass boat manufacturing facility in Pitt County.

The final permit includes conditions that ensure ambient levels of all pollutants beyond the facility’s fence line comply with health-based standards. It also requires the facility to follow specific operational standards and install air pollution controls to reduce particulate matter emissions.

The facility will be classified as Title V because of its potential to emit more than 100 tons per year of volatile organic compounds, and it is classified as major for hazardous air pollutants because emissions of styrene are expected to be more than 10 tons per year. As a result, World Cat Greenville must comply with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Boat Manufacturing.

DAQ held an extensive public engagement process to solicit comments from the public on a draft of the air permit. The Division extended the public comment period to more than 60 days, advertised the comment period in local English and Spanish media, and conducted outreach to local governments and nearby properties. DAQ also held an in-person public hearing on Aug. 25, 2022.

Division staff thoroughly reviewed the comments received on the draft permit during the public hearing and comment periods. In response to community concerns, DAQ staff conducted additional air dispersion modeling on styrene emissions from both World Cat Greenville and another nearby boat manufacturing facility. This enhanced model showed that the combined styrene emissions from both facilities would comply with health-based standards.

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 and must follow all recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Additionally, DAQ is continuing a compliance investigation of World Cat Greenville after issuing the facility a Notice of Violation earlier this year.

Following an unannounced inspection in July 2022, DAQ learned World Cat Greenville had been operating  without an air quality permit since July 2021. DAQ promptly opened an investigation and on July 28, 2022, DAQ issued a Notice of Violation / Notice of Recommended Enforcement to World Cat Greenville for operating without a permit and failing to submit a 15-day notice of initial startup.

Staff continues to investigate whether any other violations of federal or state air quality regulations occurred and will submit a recommendation for enforcement to the Director for the issuance of a civil penalty. Currently, available information shows World Cat Greenville complied with all applicable air emission standards while operating without a permit.

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