Wednesday, October 4, 2023

DAQ Issues Air Quality Permit to Sapphire RNG facility at Sampson County Landfill

Oct 4, 2023

After thoroughly reviewing all public comments submitted during the public hearing and notice period, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is issuing a Title V air quality permit to Sapphire Renewable Natural Gas.

Sapphire Renewable Natural Gas plans to accept and process landfill gas onsite at Sampson County Disposal, LLC, in Roseboro. Currently, the landfill burns all its gas using flares, producing air pollution. Air emissions at Sapphire Renewable Natural Gas will be controlled by a waste gas thermal oxidizer, a candlestick flare and a sulfur treatment system with two activated carbon vessels.

In response to community concerns raised during the public process, DAQ required the applicant to conduct revised air dispersion modeling and provide additional information. The Division updated the permit and permit review with requirements related to testing, modeling and operations.

The final permit contains:

  • Site-specific emission data about toxic air pollutants in the facility’s landfill gas, rather than estimated values.
  • Required analytical test of landfill gas and submission of the results to DAQ for review to confirm these site-specific values.
  • Monitoring conditions for two additional toxic air pollutants.
  • Estimated emissions for truck loading which will be considered an insignificant source.
  • Conditions that ensure ambient levels of all pollutants beyond the facility’s fence line comply with emission standards, including applicable health-based standards.

Due to concerns regarding the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at the Sampson County Disposal, LLC landfill, the air quality permit requires the company to conduct initial sampling of the inlet landfill gas for the presence of PFAS and disclose information related to PFAS concentrations.

DAQ also requested more detailed calculations, which indicate the expected operation will reduce facility-wide emissions of carbon monoxide by 76 tons per year, nitrogen oxide by 94 tons per year, and sulfur oxides by 73 tons per year.

The facility is required to follow all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including those related to public safety, transportation and land use. The facility is also subject to recordkeeping requirements and regular inspections.

Copies of the final permit, final permit review, hearing officer’s report, final environmental justice report, permit application, and a one-page project fact sheet are available online.

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Comunicado de Prensa (español)

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