NCDEQ planning public hearings for two plants requesting methyl bromide permits
SOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) — People who live in Wilmington and Columbus County will get the chance to learn more about the emission of methyl bromide in upcoming public hearings.
Two companies have requested Title V permits. They are Malec Brothers Transport, which wants to build a fumigation facility in the Acme Delco area of Columbus County, and TIMA Capital, the company that wants to take over Royal Pest Solutions on Sunnyvale Drive in Wilmington.
The EPA says methyl bromide, which is used as a pesticide, can be toxic and can damage the ozone layer.
According to documents, Malec Brothers Transport wants to emit up to 140 tons of methyl bromide a year. Malec Brothers would be a new international wood transporter facility in the area.
The comment period for Malec Brothers’s permit ended on March 17, but because of an increased public interest in methyl bromide, there will be a whole new comment period, NCDEQ said.
TIMA Capital wants a permit that would allow the release of up to 90 tons of methy bromide annually. The NCDEQ says TIMA’s actual emissions would be somewhere between 30 and 60 tons a year, but they theoretically could emit up to 90 tons if they operated around the clock.
Michael Pjetraj, Deputy Director for the Division of Air Quality, says they are not going to issue a permit unless the facility complies with the terms of the permit. In this case, the permit has a number of monitoring conditions included. Pjetraj says they have discussed these internally and with other states to ensure there is no impact with anyone in the surrounding area.
Pjetraj says the facility has to do monitoring at the boundary of its property when releasing fumigant. The monitoring has to demonstrate 0 ppm of the fumigant is measured, meaning the methyl bromide is effectively dispersed enough that there should not be any adverse effects.
The NCDEQ says there are a handful of other fumigation facilities in our area that are considered synthetic minor facilities, which means they emit less than 10 tons a year.
No word yet on when or where these public hearings will take place. We will keep you updated.