March 1, 6:00 PM
An industrial plant that would “cook” creosote-treated railroad ties and release tons of harmful air emissions is proposed for a predominantly low-income neighborhood near Hamlet, an area already burdened by pollution.
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International Tie Disposal is proposing to build a facility in Hamlet to burn creosote-treated railroad ties and create biochar. The facility would run 160 kilns per day, 7 days a week, each of them filled with 1 ton of feedstock — equivalent to 58,000 tons per year.
Creosote is a known human carcinogen. The Georgia legislature unanimously banned the burning of creosote in the state due to community complaints and evidence of toxic dust clouds, extreme noise pollution and groundwater contamination. Why would our agency permit the same practice here in NC?
The draft air permit in question states that the biochar facility would release carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter — all of which pose serious human health risks — in a county that consistently ranks lowest in terms of health. Further, inhalation of fine particulate matter has been linked to a person’s vulnerability to more serious COVID-19 illness.
Hamlet should not be treated as a sacrifice zone. The city and nearby community of Dobbins Heights are already overburdened by massive polluting facilities, including Enviva, plastics manufacturers, steel fabricators, and industrial animal operations.
Should the Dept. of Air Quality grant this air permit, the agency would be siting a toxic industry and placing additional environmental health burdens in an area that is predominantly low income and African American, creating grave Environmental Justice concerns. Within the census tract of the proposed site, 27% of the population is low income, and 54% are African American.
Virtual Public Hearing on Proposed Biochar Facility in Hamlet March 1, 6:00 PM An industrial plant that would “cook” creosote-treated railroad ties and release tons of harmful air emissions is proposed […]firstname.lastname@example.org