DEQ is working closely with the US EPA and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) regarding the odor issue impacting North Carolina residents in Union And Mecklenburg counties, South Carolina residents, and the Catawba Indian Nation. Based on a multi-agency investigation, both SCDHEC and the EPA have issued orders to the New Indy Containerboard facility located in South Carolina.
Details on SC DHEC actions including the state order, daily reports from EPA monitoring stations (including one NC site), and the online odor complaint form are posted on their website.
EPA Region 4 issued an emergency order on May 13, 2021, under Section 303 of the Clean Air Act to New Indy Containerboard to reduce emissions of hydrogen sulfide from their pulp and paper mill in Catawba, SC, to meet specific limits as monitored at the fence line. EPA is also requiring the company to perform air monitoring in the communities surrounding the facility.
On July 12, 2021 EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated action in the District Court for South Carolina seeking to extend a Clean Air Act Section 303 Order issued by EPA to address hydrogen sulfide emissions at New Indy Containerboard. DOJ, on behalf of EPA, has filed a Complaint which automatically extends the duration of the Section 303 Order by 14 days. Concurrently, DOJ filed a joint motion with New Indy Containerboard to further extend the duration of the Section 303 Order until October 31, 2021 to allow time to determine a long-term solution. These actions are intended to reduce and prevent public health and welfare risks associated with hydrogen sulfide emissions.
More information on EPA actions and monitoring can be found here.
DEQ continues to work with Mecklenburg County Air Quality, SC DHEC and EPA to support the multi-state investigation and monitoring efforts and protect public health.