Modified permit for Enviva exposes the sheer volume of NC trees that will be lost


Clear-cutting our forests to service a boondoggle in Europe:

Enviva Pellets Hamlet, LLC and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Air Quality (DAQ) on Monday reached a settlement with Clean Air Carolina (CAC) in which the wood pellet processing company agreed to a new round of measures to control emissions and to submit semi-annual output reports to CAC for review.

In January, Enviva modified its permit with the DAQ to allow it to increase its production of wood pellets from 537,625 oven-dried tons per year to 625,011 and to be reclassified as a minor source of pollution in exchange for adding new emission controls.

Bolding mine, because this method of calculation actually downplays the volume of trees this industry is consuming. In order to arrive at that "oven-dried" weight, several times that amount of green/wet wood is required. Enviva is clear-cutting some 50 acres of North Carolina forests every single day. Here's more from the Rachel Carlson Council:

“North Carolina is unique because it houses more Enviva facilities than any other part of the country,” according to the report, which notes that the soon-to-be four wood pellet plants in the state are among the largest in the world with an annual production capacity of about 2 million tons, or more than 15 percent of the total U.S. annual production capacity. “This level of production, though, has put a severe strain on the environment and communities in North Carolina.”

The “Clear Cut” report says that the industry is driving massive clear-cutting of U.S. forests in the Southeast and harms the health of surrounding communities. The report describes “the unjust economics” and political forces allowing the industry to continue its adverse effects.

Enviva produces pellets at three North Carolina facilities: one in Ahoskie, which began operations in November 2011; another in Northampton County, near Gaston, Roanoke Rapids and Garysburg; and a third in Sampson County, near Faison and Clinton. The fourth pellet facility planned for Hamlet is set to commence operations early this year.

Since these facilities harvest wood within a 70 mile radius, they have now bracketed the entire Eastern half of North Carolina.