FAQs About ABC Coke’s Permit: What You Need to Know

FAQs About ABC Coke’s Permit: What You Need to Know

FAQs About ABC Coke’s Permit: What You Need to Know

Last fall, the Jefferson County Department of Health posted ABC Coke’s Title V pollution permit renewal application. (Title V is just a provision of the Clean Air Act.) We asked for (and received) an extension on the public comment period to allow us and residents of Jefferson County to submit questions and to JCDH. We also requested a public hearing. That request was granted and two hearings were held on November 15. Dozens of community members filled the conference room at JCDH at both hearings and made compelling arguments about the need for a strong permit to protect public health. 

We filed extensive written comments on the permit which pointed out several deficiencies with the permit renewal and permit application. We posted those comments here and highlighted some of the opportunities for improvement.

If you were one of the people who made oral comments at the hearings or submitted written comments by mail or email, you may have recently received a letter from JCDH. Folks have been asking us what this letter means and what’s next, so we thought we would put together a FAQ guide for you. An amazingly helpful resource is this booklet, Proof is in the Permit.

Index

Why did I get this letter?

What is a “proposed permit?”

What is EPA’s 45 day review period?

Is this letter about another public comment period?

What does it mean for EPA to “object” to a permit?

Is it only EPA who can object to a permit?

Is Gasp going to object to ABC Coke’s permit?

I asked JCDH to deny ABC Coke’s permit. Why didn’t they?

What can I do now? How can I be involved?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why did I get this letter?

A: You either 1) attended the hearing, 2) also made comments at the hearing, and/or 3) submitted written comments to JCDH about ABC Coke’s Draft Permit. JCDH wrote this letter to inform you that the Draft Permit was proposed (more on what this means later) to EPA on March 1, 2019. They also used this letter to direct people to JCDH’s website where their responses to written comments are posted.

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Q: What is a “proposed permit?”

A: After the public comment period and reviewing the comments on the Draft Permit, JCDH submits the draft permit to the regional U.S. EPA office, Region 4, for a 45 day review period. At the time JCDH submitted the draft permit to EPA, it becomes a “proposed permit.”

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Q: What is EPA’s 45 day review period?

A: In this situation, EPA’s “clock” to review started ticking on March 1, 2019 (which means the 45 day review period ends on April 18, 2019, which begins another clock. More on that later). This means that during these 45 days, EPA will review the permit and may object (more on that later). While every permit must be submitted to U.S. EPA for the 45-day review period, U.S. EPA is not required to review every proposed permit. Each regional U.S. EPA office has its own policy on selecting permits to review, but U.S. EPA suggested a target of reviewing at least ten percent of all permits proposed for facilities in each of U.S. EPA’s ten regions. The EPA is most likely to review proposed permits for very large or controversial facilities.

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Q: Is this letter about another public comment period?

A: No. There are no more opportunities for public comment with EPA during their 45 day review period. If you provided comments during the public comment period, you could petition the EPA to object to ABC Coke’s permit (more on that later).

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Q: What does it mean for EPA to “object” to a permit?

A: EPA must object to the proposed permit if EPA determines that the proposed permit does not comply with federal laws or regulations. In addition, the EPA can choose to object to a proposed permit if the Permitting Authority does not provide U.S. EPA with sufficient supporting information to allow for meaningful U.S. EPA review or if the permitting authority fails to follow the right procedures for public participation. If EPA chooses to object, they must give JCDH a written explanation for the objection and give JCDH 90 days to submit a revised version of the proposed permit to EPA. If JCDH misses this deadline, EPA can either deny the permit or develop a permit for ABC Coke themselves.

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Q: Is it only EPA who can object to a permit?

A: No. If you commented on the draft permit during the public comment period and are not satisfied with the proposed permit JCDH sent to EPA, you can ask EPA to object to the permit. You make this request through a petition to EPA. This is the clock that starts ticking after EPA’s 45 day review period ends. You have 60 days from the end of the 45 day review period to petition the EPA to object to the permit. In this case, you have until June 14, 2019 to petition the EPA to object to ABC Coke’s permit.

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Q: Is Gasp going to object to ABC Coke’s permit?

A: Gasp is still reviewing JCDH’s responses to our and SELC’s comments (which we incorporated by referenced into our comments) and the proposed permit renewal for ABC Coke. We will use EPA’s 45 day period, and the 60 days thereafter, to determine if there are issues that warrant a petition to object.

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Q: I asked JCDH to deny ABC Coke’s permit. Why didn’t they?

A: The best we can do is point you to JCDH’s answers to those written comments themselves (specifically, you can see these responses on pages 4, 7, 11-14, 17-20, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 37 and 51).

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Q: What can I do now? How can I be involved?

A: If you are concerned about the pollution from ABC Coke and are not already a member of Gasp, join now. If you want to stay informed of when EPA’s review period ends and when Petitions to Object are due and/or if you’re thinking about drafting a petition yourself, feel free to email or call me ([email protected], 205-701-4272).

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Clean Air, Healthy Brains

Clean Air, Healthy Brains

Clean Air, Healthy Brains

It’s been known for quite some time that polluted air leads to heart and lung problems, and now we are becoming aware that air pollution also has a negative effect on our brains [1]. There is growing evidence that toxic chemicals in our air are linked to disorders such as autism, ADHD, intellectual disability and learning disorders.

Project TENDR (TargetingEnvironmental Neuro-Development Risks), which is run by a unique group of leading scientists, health professions and children’s health advocates, is helping us better understand what we should do about it.

Below is the breakdown of their recommendations.

#1: The US Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) sets the national air quality standards, known as NAAQS standards. They also calculate the cost of air pollution to our healthcare system. They should give greater consideration to evidence of how toxic air impacts the health of our brain and the resulting serious health issues when they set the NAAQS standards and when they calculate the cost of poor air to our healthcare.

The importance here being that if the EPA does not do this, the cost of air pollution to health care might be lower than it actually is. This could lead people to believe that air pollution is not as pricey as it truly is. It would be like buying something with a price tag of $10 dollars, only later to find out that your credit card was charged for $1,000. What a rip off. Also, the NAAQS standards might not be as good if the effect of air pollution on brain health is not seriously considered.

#2:The EPA should strengthen and enforce federal fuel efficiency standards. Meaning, on average, new vehicles should be able to drive 36 miles per gallon instead of 25 miles per gallon.

The less fuel that a vehicle uses, the less combustion-related pollutants are released into the air. And the less fuel your vehicle uses, the more money you save when you go to fill up. Win-Win!

#3: States and local governments should promote and advance clean energy policies that reduce reliance on fossil fuels, including coal, that is used for energy generation and transportation.

Many states, including New York, Washington DC, Oregon, Hawaii, and California, are moving towards renewable energy for electricity generation. This is a complicated topic, however, since there are a lot of workers whose livelihood comes from the coal industry. Retraining such a large number of people for other jobs has many challenges but we shouldn’t give up on fighting for clean air AND figuring out how to help those who want and need to transition out of the coal industry at the same time.

#4: State and regional agencies should develop best practices that help reduce combustion-related pollutants from large sources (such as highways, other major roadways, ports and rail yards) near residential neighborhoods.

This one is pretty straightforward. When you visit a doctor, wouldn’t you want them to be using the absolute best practices in medicine rather random methods that are convenient and lucrative for them? Same goes here, wouldn’t you want your state to use the best practices available to limit the harmful impact of combustion-related pollutants on your health?

#5: Regional air pollution control agencies across the United States should restrict permitting new sources of combustion-related air pollutants (like highways, ports and rail yards) to be placed in close proximity to residential areas.

Basically, let’s not create new problems. There are amazing urban planners out there who can suggest city and neighborhood layouts that limits how many pollution sources are located near where people live.

#6: Expand air monitoring near locations where children spend time

Air monitoring helps us paint a much more accurate picture of what is going on with the air quality. This would help the local community understand the environment that they live in and know during which days they should stay indoors to protect themselves from poor air quality. Don’t miss our blog on how the Hoover High School environmental science research competition team built their own air monitoring device HERE!

#7-8: Expand research to (1) find strategies to mitigate exposures near large sources of combustion-related air pollution and (2) understand the effects of ultrafine particles on human health

Without research, it’s not possible to know the best approaches of how to help people who are currently living near large sources of combustion-related air pollution or to understand the effects of air quality on our health in general.

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Whew! That was a lot of information. Important, but a lot. Let’s a few deep breaths together. In through the nose, counting to four…1..2..3..4.. And out through the mouth, counting to six… 1..2..3..4..5..6.. Repeat a few more times.

‘Til next time. Wishing you joy, safety and ease.

Anna


References:
[1] https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304902

Settlement Alleges Clean Air Act Violations by Drummond’s ABC Coke

Settlement Alleges Clean Air Act Violations by Drummond’s ABC Coke

Settlement Alleges Clean Air Act Violations by Drummond’s ABC Coke

Drummond Company has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Jefferson County Board of Health (JCBH) for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the ABC Coke in Tarrant, Ala. The consent decree, which was released on Friday, February 8, says Drummond will pay a $775,000 civil penalty for violating the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) for benzene emissions and waste, equipment leaks and fugitive emissions, and benzene waste at the coke plant. The fine will split equally between the EPA and JCBH.

This is a big deal. Benzene is a toxic chemical and known carcinogen that is emitted by major polluters like ABC Coke. We’ve been sounding the alarm about ABC Coke’s toxic pollution — including benzene — for years, including in our 2014 documentary, Toxic City: Birmingham’s Dirty Secret. (Watch the film for free at toxicbirmingham.com.) We have been fighting for stronger enforcement and environmental health protections for the residents of North Birmingham and Tarrant since day one.

How does this consent decree impact our work and frontline communities? Last year, Drummond submitted a renewal application for its Title V air pollution permit, which resulted in a public comment period as well as two public hearings at the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) last October. This enforcement action emphasizes the public health concerns Gasp has raised for years. ABC Coke’s Title V air permit renewal has yet to be finalized. JCDH next must formally propose the draft permit as final to the EPA, which will then review the permit and permit application to ensure compliance with the law.

According to nonprofit journalism website BirminghamWatch.org, JCDH plans to use half of the windfall to “benefit public health in the area that was affected by the air pollution at issue”:

“We’ll have discussions with elected officials and others in the area to figure out what kind of projects will help the environment and the public health there. We really want them to be involved in that process and help to guide us as to what they need.” —Jonathan Stanton, JCDH environmental health services director

Jefferson County Health Officer, Dr. Mark Wilson, told al.com that JCDH will ask that their share of settlement funds go toward “public health benefits for communities near the ABC Coke facility.” This is a positive development, though none of this is final yet and there are critical details that need to be sorted out.

The bottom line is that enforcement action demonstrates a clear need to strengthen ABC Coke’s permit and make sure it is significantly more protective of public health for everyone who lives and works in the area near the facility. There will be a 30-day public comment window before the consent decree becomes final.

Stay tuned — we will update you with more information about ABC Coke, this enforcement action, and the Title V permit on this blog!


NOTE: This settlement is unrelated the EPA/Superfund corruption trial last year involving former Rep. Oliver Robinson, Drummond VP David Roberson, and Balch & Bingham Attorney Joel Gilbert. You may recall that former state regulators Scott Phillips and Trey Glenn were indicted in November for alleged violations of Alabama ethics laws. Their trial will begin any day now.

Hoover High School Bio-Bucs: Testing the Air

Hoover High School Bio-Bucs: Testing the Air

Hoover High School Bio-Bucs: Testing the Air

by Christian Lam, Maggie Khan and Andrew Gelderman

First of all, what is the BioBucs? 

The Hoover High School BioBucs is the Hoover High School environmental science research competition team. The club was created with an ultimate goal of being recognized as a Green Flag School by the National Wildlife Federation, but has taken on many more projects around our school campus and community. Within two years, we’ve established a pollinator/sensory garden for Special Ed, built a solar-powered phone charging station, conducted a Hoover High light audit, and participated in three Lexus Eco Challenges so far.

We were inspired to monitor the air by Gasp’s documentary Toxic City: Birmingham’s Dirty Secret since Birmingham is so close to home.

Our Most Recent Project

We won the 2018-19 Southeastern Regional Lexus Eco Challenge! A large part was thanks to our collaboration with Gasp. In Spring 2017, we worked with Gasp volunteer Jonathan Self and intern, Vaishali N and built the AirBeam sensors that works in conjunction with the AirCasting App. Through this combo, we were able to record the particulate matter in the air in three different locations: Hoover High, Southern Research STEM Lab, and Sloss Furnace. The PM 2.5 of Sloss Furnace peaked at 347 even in the rain, while Hoover High peaked at 9 on a clear day. When it’s raining, accumulated air pollution sticks to the rain and travels into the ground. Who knows what the Sloss’s PM count would’ve been on a clear day.

Below is a gallery of pictures from our air quality testing adventures and more: 

How a Coke Plant Works

How a Coke Plant Works

How a Coke Plant Works

Coal is the main ingredient used to make coke. Iron is produced by inputting coal into a blast furnace. However, coal cannot be put directly into a blast furnace because of all the harmful by-products that come from that. So, there is an intermediate process that occurs. Coal is converted into coke first. Coke is used as fuel in a blast furnace. It plays an important role in the chemical processes that take place in a blast furnace.

Coal is heated to about 1250 degrees Celsius in the coke ovens. This process is referred to as ‘dry distillation’ because these coke ovens are oxygen free, so the coal does not actually burn. This process takes around 18 hours to convert 35 tons of coal into 25 tons of coke.

After heating up the coal into coke, the coke is then unloaded from the oven by a pusher machine. The pusher machine has a pusher arm that puts the coke into a car that takes the coke to a coke quenching tower. Here, the coke is quenched with water. The coke is then taken to a coke wharf, where the remaining water evaporates. A reclaimer then feeds the coke from the wharf to a conveyor belt, which transfers the coke to the crushing and screening station. The finished product is about two-thirds the weight of the original raw material.

During the distillation process, a large amount of gas and smoke is generated, which, after purification, creates coke oven gas, and other by-products such as ammonia, tar, sulfur, naphthalene, and benzol. The creation of coke and the purification of gas are performed completely automated.

Coke makers use a mix of coal to improve the quality of coke they create. A high-quality coal does not generate high pressure on the coke oven, and they also shrink enough so that they are easily removed from the coke oven. The properties of coke are influenced by moisture content and density.

The main use of coke is to make iron. The burning of coal to coke produces carbon monoxide. A touch at the bottom of the furnace allows impurities to flow out of the furnace. This, coupled with the fact that many harmful impurities come from heating the coal is the reason why there is so much pollution that comes from the creation of coke.

Pollution prevention in coke making is focused on reducing emissions from the coke oven. There are many ways to help reduce pollution. One way is to improve the quality of coal feed, so that the coke produced is of higher quality. This helps reduce emissions of sulfur oxide and other pollutants. Another way is to use enclosed conveyors for the coal and coke handling. Also, use many windbreaks and reduce the drop distances. Using higher quality of coal helps reduce the time it takes to convert it into coke, it also helps reduce fuel consumption.

Glossary

Quenching: to rapidly cool with cold water.

Coke Wharf: an area where the coke can be loaded and unloaded.

Reclaimer: large machine used in bulk material handling applications.

Purification: the removal of contaminants from something.

Touch: come so close to as to be or come into contact with it.

Works Cited

Coking Plant (https://belgium.arcelormittal.com/en/work-environment/coking-plant/)

What Is Metallurgical Coke? (https://sciencing.com/metallurgical-coke-18741.html)

Coke Production For Blast Furnace Ironmaking Coke (https://www.steel.org/~/media/Files/ AISI/Making%20Steel/coke_prod_blast_furnace_ironmaking.pdf?la=en)

Coke Manufacturing (https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/9ecab70048855c0 48ab4da6a6515bb18/coke_PPAH.pdf?MOD=AJPERES)

Coke Production (https://www3.epa.gov/ttnchie1/ap42/ch12/final/c12s02_may08.pdf)

Report Finds Rapidly Growing “Green” Energy Industry Releases Dangerous Air Pollution in AL

Report Finds Rapidly Growing “Green” Energy Industry Releases Dangerous Air Pollution in AL

Report Finds Rapidly Growing “Green” Energy Industry Releases Dangerous Air Pollution in Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Half of Wood Pellet Plants in U.S. Violate Pollution Limits or Fail to Install Required Emissions Control Equipment

Media Contact: Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project, [email protected] or (202) 888-2703

Washington, D.C. (April 26, 2018) — A booming new industry that cuts down forests in the U.S. South to generate electricity in Europe, under the false pretense that burning wood pellets is carbon neutral, releases vast amounts of dangerous and illegal air pollution, including in Alabama, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project. Alabama has three large wood pellet plants today, but that number is expected to double.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Monday (April 23) announced a new Trump Administration policy to encourage the “forest biomass” energy industry by claiming that the burning of wood pellets is carbon neutral.

“Cutting down forests to burn to generate electricity is not in any way ‘green’ or carbon neutral – and in fact, creates a large amount of air pollution,” said Patrick Anderson, co-author of the EIP report, titled, “Dirty Deception.” “Even if the trees are replanted, not all survive – and those that do will take decades or centuries to grow to the same size, and therefore the same carbon dioxide absorbing potential of the trees that were eliminated.”

The report’s authors examined federal and state records for 21 wood pellet plants from Virginia to Texas and concluded that one third of them (7 out of 21) violated their permits in 2017 by releasing illegal amounts of air pollution, while another four had faulty permits issued by states that failed to require pollution control equipment required by the federal Clean Air Act.

Overall, more than half of the wood pellet plants (11 out of 21) either failed to keep emissions below legal limits or failed to install required pollution controls, according to the report.

The federal budget bill signed by President Trump on March 23 contains a provision that encourages more burning of wood pellets like this for electricity, with an inaccurate claim that the “biomass” industry is good for the climate.

“With the Trump Administration and Congress now encouraging this crazy notion that clearcutting forests is helpful to the environment, it’s important that we have an accurate accounting of just how much air pollution these wood pellet plants actually produce,” said Anderson, an attorney with Powell Environmental Law, which wrote the report for EIP. “The records show that the biomass industry releases not only millions of tons of greenhouse gases, but also tons of soot particles that can trigger asthma and heart attacks, as well as carcinogens and smog-forming pollutants.”

The wood pellet industry has grown almost 10-fold in the U.S. since 2009. It is being driven by a loophole in the European Union’s carbon accounting system that is based on the mistaken notion that burning wood is carbon neutral and therefore good for the climate, because replanted trees absorb carbon dioxide. In fact, replanted trees take many decades to grow enough to absorb as much carbon dioxide as the trees cut down for the industry, and not all the saplings survive.

In the midst of the industry’s fast growth, relatively little attention has been paid to the high levels of air pollution generated by wood pellet manufacturing plants, emissions that can trigger a wide array of health and environmental problems.

In Alabama, there are three wood pellet plants, the largest of which are Mohegan Renewable Energy (formerly Lee Energy Solutions) near Birmingham, and Zilkha Biomass, near Selma. Three additional new mills are proposed in the state. According to federal and state records, the three existing plants together annually release 499 tons of soot (fine particle pollution that triggers asthma and heart attacks), 999 tons of volatile organic compounds (which contribute to smog), 584 tons of nitrogen oxide air pollution (which feed low-oxygen “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico), and 649,836 tons of carbon dioxide (which contributes to global warming.) These pollution totals are expected to roughly double if the three new plants are built, as planned.

“While the wood biomass industry masquerades as ‘renewable energy,’ these plants are releasing dirty pollution into the air we breathe,” said Michael Hansen, Executive Director of a Birmingham-based nonprofit called Gasp that is devoted to fighting for clean air. “Air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk factor for premature death and disease in the world — and those hurt the most are kids, seniors, pregnant women, and people suffering from chronic diseases.”

Across the U.S., the Environmental Integrity Project investigation found that 21 U.S. wood pellet mills currently exporting to Europe emit a total of 16,000 tons of health-threatening air pollutants per year, including more than 2,500 tons of particulate matter (soot), 3,200 tons of nitrogen oxides, 2,100 tons of carbon monoxide, and 7,000 tons of volatile organic compounds. These plants also emit 3.1 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, according to the study.

Other key findings of the report:

  • Of the 15 largest operating wood pellet facilities, at least eight have had fires or explosions since 2014, including at factories in North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas that released large amounts of air pollution or injured employees.
  • A factory northeast of Houston owned by German Pellets has emitted nearly ten times its permitted limits of volatile organic compound pollution since it began operation in 2013, releasing 580 tons per year. Rather than require the facility to comply with legal limits, Texas officials are proposing to simply raise the limits to let the facility continue to emit dangerous levels of pollution.
  • At the Enviva Biomass wood pellet plant in Southampton County, Virginia, plant operators actually removed the pollution control equipment to evade upgrade requirements and switched from processing softwood to hardwood, which results in more carbon dioxide pollution and other harmful environmental impacts.

“It’s time for states to pump the brakes on an industry that has been deceiving investors, decision-makers, and communities from day one — whether it’s misleading the public about their wood sourcing, evading community input in the permitting process, or skirting clean air quality standards,” said Emily Zucchino of the Dogwood Alliance, a nonprofit that works to protect Southern forests and communities from destructive industrial logging. “State governors and agencies need to do right by communities, instead of allowing companies like Enviva to continue to grow unchecked which harms public health, forests and the climate.”

One of the most troubling trends in the wood pellet industry discussed in the report is that facilities that should face the most rigorous air permitting standards are actually the least controlled and dirtiest.

Under a Clean Air Act program called “new source review,” new or modified major sources of air pollution are required to reduce emissions to the level achievable by using the best available control technology.

Contrary to that legal requirement, states allow construction of the country’s largest wood pellet manufacturing plants without controls, or with inadequate controls, for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), an air pollutant that causes smog and respiratory problems.

This is despite the fact that extremely effective VOC controls capable of reducing emissions by 90 to 95 percent are in widespread use at similar wood pellet manufacturing plants. For instance, in North Carolina, wood dryers at two recently permitted wood pellet factories owned by Enviva Biomass emit nearly six times more VOCs and 50 to 60 times more hazardous air pollutants than comparable facilities with appropriate pollution control systems.

“This industry is creating a public health hazard that can easily be avoided – because we already have the technology available to filter and capture this air pollution,” said Keri N. Powell, co-author of the EIP report and Director of Powell Environmental Law. “The solution is for states to enforce the law and require wood pellet plants to install the best available technology.”

In other instances, states allow facilities to emit air pollution well beyond legal limits for years at a time, according to the “Dirty Deception” report. In Mississippi, Florida, and North Carolina, state permitting authorities continue to allow wood pellet manufacturing plants to emit well above a 250 ton per year threshold before facilities are required to install air pollution controls.

For example, the Drax wood pellet plant in Amite County, Mississippi, near McComb, emits more than 900 tons per year of VOCs – more than three times the amount that normally triggers a requirement for the installation of best available pollution control equipment.

The report makes several recommendations for addressing the problem, including:

  1. Requiring states to reexamine existing air permits for wood pellet plants in light of new testing that shows much higher emissions of volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants.
  2. Require that all major sources of air pollution to install the best available control technology.
  3. Require annual emissions testing for volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants from all of the major emission points at pellet mills.
  4. Reduce the risk of fires and explosions by requiring wood pellet facilities to comply with their duty under the federal Clean Air Act to design and maintain safe facilities.

For a copy of the report, visit www.environmentalintegrity.org

QUOTES FROM LOCAL RESIDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT THE INDUSTRY:

Mississippi: “It is past time for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to step up and protect the public health and safety of Mississippians from this pollution source as required by law,” said Louie Miller, State Director of the Sierra Club’s Mississippi Chapter. “Mississippi should not be known as the ‘cheap date’ for polluting industries.”

Texas: “Residents who live in Woodville, TX, near the pellet factory have grave concerns about the repeated fires at the plant, and they report health problems that went away once it closed,” said Robin Schneider, Executive Director of Texas Campaign for the Environment. “It’s time for environmental officials to take this bull by the horns and treat these issues with the seriousness that they deserve.”

Florida: “The Enviva Mill in Jackson County (near Panama City) has been violating the Clean Air Act for years by emitting hundreds of tons of unlawful and dangerous air pollution,” said Jennifer Rubiello, State Director of Environment Florida. “It’s time for Florida to step up and require Enviva to install legally-required air pollution controls, just as Georgia and Alabama have done for similar facilities. Not only are Enviva Mill’s actions against the law, but in this day and age when we have the technology to keep our air clean, there is no reason not to protect the health of all Floridians.”

Georgia: “Georgians have first-hand experience with the dangers posed by this industry,” said Vicki Weeks, Georgia State Coordinator for the Dogwood Alliance. “Their plants are typically sited in poor rural areas where communities with little access to effective health care are being hard hit by their unchecked air pollution.”

North Carolina: “The non-stop pollution, dust, noise, and truck traffic the Enviva pellet mill brings to Northampton County is a grave injustice to this community,” said Belinda Joyner founder of Concerned Citizens of Northampton County. “They have no respect for the people who live here, and they give nothing back – so we demand action.”

South Carolina: “Entire communities across the South are waking up to the damage these rapacious pellet companies are doing to our environment,” said Alectron Dorfman, chairman of Lakelands Citizens for Clean Air. “In the Lakelands area of Greenwood and Laurens Counties, the dramatic increase in production and pollution at the Enviva plant in Columbo is cause for great concern among our citizens for the quality of our air and the future of our forests.”

The Environmental Integrity Project is a 15-year-old nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, based in Washington D.C., dedicated to enforcing environmental laws and holding polluters and governments accountable to protect public health.

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