Wednesday, July 24, 2024

DEQ implements dust control measures on two companies at the port

Enviva Pellets is one facility being required to limit fugitive dust emmisions by the state. (Port City Daily/file photos)

WILMINGTON — The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality is requiring two facilities, Enviva Pellets and Basaga International, to adopt additional fugitive dust control measures after citizen complaints.

In a press release on Monday, DEQ said it investigated multiple citizen complaints of off-site dust impacts near the Port of Wilmington. Residents near the port have complained for years of the dust offput originating from the facility. Reports have seemingly increased this year as residents, particularly those in Sunset Park, say their cars and homes are covered in sawdust. Ingesting sawdust has been linked to adverse health effects.

State regulation requires a facility to prevent fugitive dust from extending beyond its property boundaries and causing or contributing to substantive complaints or excess fugitive dust emissions.

DAQ requires a facility to develop and implement a fugitive dust control plan if it observes excess dust leaving a property’s boundary or substantiates two dust complaints within a 12-month period.

DAQ has notified Enviva’s wood pellet manufacturer’s storage and shipping facility on Turtle Dove Court in Wilmington that it must develop a plan after DAQ identified that facility as the source of two substantiated fugitive dust complaints. The plan must identify the sources of fugitive dust at the facility and methods to control it. DAQ must review and approve the plan before it will be implemented.

Earlier this year, DAQ also required Basaga International, a wood-chipping facility on Woodbine Street in Wilmington, to develop a fugitive dust control plan after identifying it as the source of multiple dust complaints from nearby residences. DAQ expects to finalize the details of Basaga’s fugitive dust control plan in the coming days.

DAQ may require updates or changes to a fugitive dust control plan after it is implemented if the control measures fail to adequately prevent off-site dust impacts.

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