Domtar Paper Co. facility in Plymouth. Photo: Domtar

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality is asking for public comment until Feb. 19 on a paper company’s proposed projects to improve operation of its plant near Plymouth, where Martin, Bertie and Washington counties meet.

The Domtar Paper Co. facility on N.C. 149 near Plymouth produces softwood fluff pulp used in the production of adult incontinence products, baby diapers and absorbent hygiene products, according to its website.

The facility is defined as a major stationary source, which is any building, structure, facility or installation that emits or may emit a regulated new source review, or NSR, pollutant. The facility has applied for a modification of the current Title V Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit, according to NCDEQ. 

The modification includes a proposed project to reconfigure the facility’s lignin solids removal plant, where lignin, which acts a a binder for the cellulose fibers in wood, is extracted; route a portion of process gases to a new two-phase packed bed caustic scrubber, which remove air pollutants; add a dust collection system with wet cyclone; and other changes to improve operation of the plant.

The proposed project will result in a significant emissions increase of total reduced sulfur and hydrogen sulfide. Total reduced sulfur means the sum of the sulfur compounds hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptain, dimethyl sulfide and dimethyl disulfide, that are released during the kraft pulping operation.

The facility is in Martin County, near the county lines of Bertie and Washington. The environmental justice report evaluated the demographics and socioeconomics within the one-mile buffer around the facility, located in Martin, Bertie and Washington counties.

Copies of the draft permit, permit review and draft environmental justice report are available online.

Comments or requests for a public hearing will be accepted until Feb. 19. Comments can be emailed to with “Domtar.19B” in the subject line. Comments can also be mailed to: NCDEQ Division of Air Quality, 1641 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1641.

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Credit: Original content published here.

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