WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Division of Air Quality has released a draft air permit for the planned Titan America cement plant in Castle Hayne.
Division of Air Quality spokesman Tom Mather says the draft permit is a preliminary permit for public review and comment. He says the Division of Air Quality will hold public hearings on the permit. Mather says they will likely be held in late September or early October.
Titan America first announced plans in 2008 to build the Carolinas Cement Company facility at the site of an old cement plant along the Northeast Cape Fear River. Opponents have argued the plant would release dangerous levels of pollutants, including mercury. The company has responded by saying it will meet any and all regulations.
DAQ held public hearings on a previous draft permit for the facility in September 2009, but the processing of the application was placed on hold as a result of a court decision. The court determined that Titan would need to conduct a full environmental impact study before receiving any permits because it planned to accept state and local economic incentives. The company later declined the incentives and processing of the application resumed in January 2011.
Since the previous draft permit, the US Environmental Protection Agency has adopted more stringent limits on a number of air pollutants that would be emitted by the facility. The new draft permit would require the facility to meet new EPA regulations for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, greenhouse gases, mercury and other hazardous air pollutants.
Under the draft air permit, Carolinas Cement is required to comply with current state and federal rules for controlling carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, visible emissions, volatile organic compounds, greenhouse gases, mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. The plant must use state-of-the-art air pollution control devices, including bag filters, a scrubber, selective non-catalytic reduction system and lime injection. Other permit conditions require the facility operators to:
•Monitor and inspect air pollution control equipment on a set schedule;
•Conduct periodic stack testing of emissions from the kiln system;
•Operate continuous emission monitors for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, total hydrocarbons and visible emissions; and
•Comply with state limits on air toxics.
The draft permit may be viewed online or at the following locations:
DAQ Wilmington Regional Office
127 Cardinal Drive Extension
DAQ Central Office
Parker Lincoln Building
2728 Capital Blvd.