Environment

Citizen sleuths, here’s how to sniff out air polluters before they come to your town

Illustration: Creative Commons

When a polluting industry wants to locate in a neighborhood, residents often learn about the plan when it’s too late, or nearly so. For example, recently, Active Energy has applied to build and operate a wood pellet plant in Lumberton, in Robeson County. And last fall, Carolina Sunrock filed paperwork with the state to operate a mine in Prospect Hill, in rural Caswell County. Both projects face vigorous community opposition.

Citizen watchdogs want to know how to find out about these facilities and permit applications well before the state announces the public hearings and comment periods. Fortunately, there’s a semi-easy way to monitor what could be coming to your neighborhood. The NC Department of Environmental Quality keeps a running online database of air permit applications where you can learn about the status of the facilities. You have to drill down a bit, so I’ll take you through the steps:

  1. Midway down the page at https://deq.nc.gov you’ll see a section “What We Do.” It contains a link to “Learn About the Divisions.”
  2. Click on “Air Quality.” At the bottom of the air quality page is a section on permitting.
  3. The “Online Access to Air Quality Permits” is the motherlode.  For active permits, you can see a map and a database of currently permitted facilities. (Note: Forsyth and Mecklenburg counties have their own local air programs; their data isn’t available through the DEQ site.)
  4. For air permit applications, click on “Active Air Permit Applications Status Reports.” You can download a .pdf or an Excel document. The pdf isn’t sortable, but good for a quick perusal. In my work, an Excel document is preferable because I can sort the information by city, county, name, etc. I can also map the facilities since the latitude and longitude are also listed. There are more than 240 pending air applications in North Carolina, as of today. As an example, I’ve excerpted the first 40-plus rows of the comprehensive status report below.
  5. Most of the header row descriptions are self-explanatory except for “Facility Classification.” The schedule is the type of permit. A Title V is the most complex type of air permit, reserved for major pollution sources. A “synthetic minor source” applies to facilities that could emit regulated pollutants like Title V sources. However, synthetic minor sources have agreed to restrictions to keep its emissions beneath that threshold. “Small” is just what it sounds like: minor polluters.
    It’s important to note, though, the cumulative impacts on neighborhoods were several facilities are located near one another. Four “small” pollution sources could add up to one large source, which is why it’s important to view these facilities on a map.
  6. Other odds and ends: When you see TV-501 (b)(2), that refers to the section within the air quality rules. Here’s that rabbit hole. Under “Permit Application Type,” a greenfield permit is another name for construction and operation.

I check the database about three times a week, to see if any there have been updates to the facilities I’m monitoring. Now you know — happy sleuthing!

Table 1                        
Facility (Applicant) NameSite AddressCityZip CodeCountyLatitudeLongitudeFacility ClassificationPermit Application No.Permit Application SchedulePermit Application TypePermit Review EngineerPermit Review Location, Regional Review Location URLPermit Application Received DateCurrent StatusFinal Status Date# Add Infos RequestedTotal Days Waiting for Add InfoLast Add. Info. Requested DateAdd. Info. Received DateApplication Sent to EPA (start date)EPA Review (end date)Public Notice Published DatePublic Hearing Date
Active Energy Renewable Power1885 ALAMAC RdLUMBERTON28358Robeson34.589024-79.006110Unknown7800242.19AStateGreenfield FacilityGregory ReevesFayetteville Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/fayetteville.shtml43773Waiting for information23743850
American & Efird LLC - Plants 05 & 1520 AMERICAN StMOUNT HOLLY28120Gaston35.290620-81.011810Title V3600224.17ATV-502(b)(10)ModificationJudy LeeRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43038Waiting for information184843038
American & Efird LLC - Plants 05 & 1520 AMERICAN StMOUNT HOLLY28120Gaston35.290620-81.011810Title V3600224.19ATV-SignificantModificationJudy LeeRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43480Waiting for information240643549
American & Efird LLC - Plants 05 & 1520 AMERICAN StMOUNT HOLLY28120Gaston35.290620-81.011810Title V3600224.19BTV-RenewalRenewalJudy LeeRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43549Waiting for information213343880
American & Efird LLC - Plants 05 & 1520 AMERICAN StMOUNT HOLLY28120Gaston35.290620-81.011810Title V3600224.18BTV-502(b)(10)ModificationJudy LeeRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43418Waiting for information145643430
American & Efird LLC - Plants 05 & 1520 AMERICAN StMOUNT HOLLY28120Gaston35.290620-81.011810Title V3600224.18ATV-502(b)(10)ModificationJudy LeeRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43145Waiting for information174143145
American Woodmark Corporation838 LINCOLN COUNTY PkwyLINCOLNTON28092Lincoln35.546700-81.226370Synthetic Minor5500112.19AStateOwnership changeAlejandra CruzMooresville Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/mooresville.shtml43812Issued438580
Arauco North America, Inc.985 CORINTH RdMONCURE27559Chatham35.601516-79.043366Title V1900015.19DPSDModificationJoseph VoelkerRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43768Waiting for information2-28544185
Arclin USA, LLC790 CORINTH RdMONCURE27559Chatham35.604033-79.047966Synthetic Minor1900030.20BStateModificationDena PittmanRaleigh Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/raleigh.shtml43874In progress0
Ardagh Glass Inc.2201 FIRESTONE PkwyWILSON27893Wilson35.760200-77.882600Title V9800155.18BTV- State OnlyModificationJoseph VoelkerRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43439Waiting for information139243494
Ardagh Glass Inc.2201 FIRESTONE PkwyWILSON27893Wilson35.760200-77.882600Title V9800155.18ATV-502(b)(10)ModificationJoseph VoelkerRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43200Waiting for information168643200
Ardagh Glass Inc.620 FACET RdHENDERSON27537Vance36.291066-78.391883Title V9100069.18ATV- State OnlyModificationJoseph VoelkerRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43462Waiting for information139243494
Armacell LLC7600 OAKWOOD St EXTENSIONMEBANE27302Orange36.077916-79.251050Synthetic Minor6800076.20AStateRenewal/ModificationSindy HuangRaleigh Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/raleigh.shtml43847In progress0
Baker Interiors Furniture Company1 BAKER WAYCONNELLY SPRINGS28612Burke35.718300-81.440800Title V1200037.20ATV-RenewalRenewalEric CrumpRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43853In progress0
Bentonville LNG Facility2256 HARPER HOUSE RdFOUR OAKS27524Johnston35.329483-78.263450Synthetic Minor5100172.20AStateModificationMaureen ConnerRaleigh Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/raleigh.shtml43873In progress0
Bernhardt Furniture Company - Plants 3&71502 MORGANTON BOULEVARDLENOIR28645Caldwell35.902500-81.547500Title V1400007.18ATV-502(b)(10)ModificationMark CuillaRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43192Waiting for information169443192
BF Grady Rd2940 NC HIGHWAY 24 WESTTURKEY28393Duplin34.996704-78.153190Unknown3100179.19AStateGreenfield FacilityDean CarrollWilmington Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/wilmington.shtml43809Waiting for information13943847
Black Creek Renewable Energy, LLC7434 ROSEBORO HIGHWAYROSEBORO28382Sampson34.980800-78.457300Title V8200149.15ATV-RenewalRenewalBooker PullenRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp42114Issued438661254378743812438174386243817
Blackburn Sanitary Landfill3993 ROCKY FORD RdNEWTON28658Catawba35.605550-81.309166Title V1800488.18ATV-RenewalRenewalJoshua L. HarrisRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43266Waiting for information257643811
Blackburn Sanitary Landfill3993 ROCKY FORD RdNEWTON28658Catawba35.605550-81.309166Title V1800488.19ATV-SignificantModificationJoshua L. HarrisRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43767Waiting for information17543811
Blackburn Sanitary Landfill3993 ROCKY FORD RdNEWTON28658Catawba35.605550-81.309166Title V1800488.17ATV-SignificantModificationJoshua L. HarrisRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43040Waiting for information3111443811
Blue Ridge Paper Products LLC175 MAIN StCANTON28716Haywood35.535600-82.841900Title V4400159.18GTV-Sign-501(b)(2) Part IIModificationJenny SheppardRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43249In progress1234384543868438754392043875
Blue Ridge Paper Products LLC175 MAIN StCANTON28716Haywood35.535600-82.841900Title V4400159.20ATV-MinorModificationHeather SandsRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43852Pending acceptance0
Boise Cascade Wood Products, LLC - Roxboro EWP Plant1000 NORTH PARK DRIVEROXBORO27573Person36.454916-78.947866Title V7300052.20BStateModificationMatthew MahlerRaleigh Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/raleigh.shtml43843In progress1294384343872
Boise Cascade Wood Products, LLC - Roxboro EWP Plant1000 NORTH PARK DRIVEROXBORO27573Person36.454916-78.947866Title V7300052.20ATV-RenewalRenewalRussell BraswellRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43816Waiting for information11143875
Branch & Brush Debris Depot, LLC21435 HWY 17 SOUTHHAMPSTEAD28443Pender34.438250-77.630530Unknown7100087.20ATV-GreenfieldGreenfield FacilityJeff TwisdaleRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43868In progress124388043882
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC3001 FIRESTONE Pkwy NEWILSON27893Wilson35.759650-77.867150Title V9800043.20ATV-SignificantModificationGautam PatnaikRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43479In progress0
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC3001 FIRESTONE Pkwy NEWILSON27893Wilson35.759650-77.867150Title V9800043.18BTV-502(b)(10)ModificationGautam PatnaikRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43390Waiting for information149643390
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC3001 FIRESTONE Pkwy NEWILSON27893Wilson35.759650-77.867150Title V9800043.19BTV-SignificantModificationGautam PatnaikRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43479In progress0
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC3001 FIRESTONE Pkwy NEWILSON27893Wilson35.759650-77.867150Title V9800043.19ATV-Sign-501(b)(2) Part IIModificationGautam PatnaikRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43479In progress0
BRP US, Inc.1211 GREENWOOD RdSPRUCE PINE28777Mitchell35.909700-82.091700Title V6100088.17ATV-502(b)(10)ModificationMark CuillaRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp42958Waiting for information192842958
Burlington Industries LLC - Burlington Finishing Plant906 N. ANTHONY StBURLINGTON27215Alamance36.083416-79.421033Synthetic Minor0100160.20AStateAdmin. AmendmentLeo GovernaleWinston-Salem Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/winston-salem.shtml43874In progress0
C.M.I. Enterprises, Inc. - Forest City135 PINE StFOREST CITY28043Rutherford35.314600-81.855300Synthetic Minor8100228.19AStateModificationAmro AliAsheville Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/asheville.shtml43467Waiting for information336943538
Carolina Poultry Power RG1, LLC8966 WEST MARLBORO RdFARMVILLE27828Pitt35.591133-77.611620Synthetic Minor7400310.17BStateModificationJeff TwisdaleRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43075In progress0
Carolina Sunrock - Woodsdale5280 WOODSDALE RdROXBORO27574Person36.520833-78.967583Synthetic Minor7300078.20AStateAdmin. AmendmentMary Rose FontanaRaleigh Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/raleigh.shtml43861In progress0
Carolina Sunrock LLC - Prospect Hill Quarry and Dist. Center1238 WRENN RdPROSPECT HILL27314Caswell36.297970-79.173840Unknown1700017.19AStateGreenfield FacilityDylan WrightWinston-Salem Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/winston-salem.shtml43787Waiting for information27043874
Carolina Sunrock LLC- Burlington North12971 S NC HIGHWAY 62BURLINGTON27127Caswell36.250965-79.326850Unknown1700016.19AStateGreenfield FacilityLeo GovernaleWinston-Salem Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/winston-salem.shtml43725Waiting for information46943874
CCF of NC, LLC - Randleman4964 ISLAND FORD RdRANDLEMAN27317Randolph35.829334-79.832016Unknown7600348.20AStateNew PermitDavis MurphyWinston-Salem Regional http://daq.state.nc.us/about/regional/winston-salem.shtml43809Waiting for information1843878
CertainTeed Corporation200 CERTAINTEED RdOXFORD27565Granville36.292783-78.613483Title V3900040.19ATV-502(b)(10)ModificationMark CuillaRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43781Waiting for information110543781
Chemours Company - Fayetteville Works22828 NC HIGHWAY 87 WESTFAYETTEVILLE28306Bladen34.844500-78.831250Title V0900009.20ATV-Sign-501(b)(2) Part IModificationHeather SandsRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43874In progress0
Chemours Company - Fayetteville Works22828 NC HIGHWAY 87 WESTFAYETTEVILLE28306Bladen34.844500-78.831250Title V0900009.19CTV-502(b)(10)ModificationHeather SandsRaleigh Central http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/humanResources/StaffDirectory.jsp43802In progress1134378943802

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