Enviva Receives Stamp of Approval to Voluntarily Install New Air Quality Equipment in Southampton Facility
Enviva Partners, LP (“Enviva”), the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat, received approval from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (“Virginia DEQ”) to install voluntary air quality equipment to further minimize emissions at its Southampton wood pellet production plant. Enviva’s modified permit will also allow for increased production and increased utilization of softwood (pine). The modifications came at Enviva’s request.
The Virginia DEQ held an informational session for local residents in August, and a well-attended hearing in September, where they heard from stakeholders, residents, and interested parties about the company’s request for additional air quality controls. At the hearing, dozens of local community members expressed their support for the Southampton plant, citing Enviva’s job creation, contribution to economic growth, community support, and strong commitment to air quality and sustainability.
Speaking about the permit approval, Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler made the following statement:
“Thank you to Virginia DEQ for their extensive diligence and review of our permit request, as well as for their thoughtful efforts to hear and include comments and input from all stakeholders during the process.”
“This permit comes at an important time. The urgency to address climate change has never been more acute. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – widely considered the world’s leading authority on climate science – calls for increased use of bioenergy like Enviva’s wood pellets in every one of their proposed pathways to limiting the impact of climate change to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is because scientific support for renewable wood energy is clear: bioenergy is a critical part of an all-in renewable energy solution to climate change. In September 2019, more than 100 forest scientists from over 50 universities joined the IPCC in embracing the environmental benefits of bioenergy like wood pellets, noting: ‘The long-term benefits of forest biomass energy are well-established in science literature.’ We look forward to continuing to help Virginia be a leader in renewable energy and lessening worldwide dependence on coal.”