State agency identifies pellet plant emitting sawdust pollution

A wood chip pile at Basaga International's facility.

Photo By Basaga International

WILMINGTON PORT, N.C. — Sawdust from wood pellet manufacturing facilities in North Carolina have reportedly blown onto nearby residents’ homes and caused health problems.

Since 2016, residents of Wilmington Port, North Carolina, have complained about the sawdust that they say has emanated from facilities operated by Enviva and Basaga International, according to local news reports in North Carolina.

In a letter to Taner Basaga, The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) ordered the facility to add dust control technology

In a DAQ statement in regard to community concerns about dust pollution, the agency called out Basaga as a "reoccurring source" of dust pollution.

“To date, DAQ has identified one facility, Basaga International – Wilmington Port, as a reoccurring source of off-site fugitive dust. DAQ is working through its enforcement procedures to require Basaga address issues that allow dust to leave its property. An isolated incident at a second facility, Enviva Pellets, LLC – Wilmington Port, involving damage to a hatch door, produced fugitive dust from this facility for a few days in early January. DAQ has been in communication with Enviva and confirmed repairs to the equipment have been made.”

The DAQ says they continue to investigate ongoing complaints of dust in this area and will monitor the facilities in the area which potentially create fugitive dust.


Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user larryadams
About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).