Enviva Appreciates VADEQ’s Commitment to Community Engagement and Looks Forward to Public Hearing in September
BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Enviva Partners, LP, the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets, which provide low-carbon, renewable power, tonight issued a statement of appreciation to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for hosting a community meeting, in advance of the public hearing in September, to share information with local residents about Enviva’s request to voluntarily increase air quality controls at its Southampton facility in Franklin, VA.
Speaking about the meeting earlier this evening, Chairman & CEO John Keppler said, “Being a good neighbor means a lot of different things to our company. It means having an open dialogue with residents in and around our facilities, and we appreciate the Virginia DEQ taking the extra step to host tonight’s informational session in advance of the public hearing in September. It also means having a positive impact on our environment, both in communities where we operate and in the global fight against climate change. As global demand for solutions to lower carbon emissions and increase the use of renewable energy is growing, we are working hard to meet the need. And, it means providing economic benefits and career opportunities to those in Franklin and other areas where we operate. We’re grateful to the people of Franklin and the Virginia DEQ for participating in tonight’s meeting. We look forward to September’s public hearing, and, most importantly, to continuing to have a positive impact in the Franklin community.”
About the Southampton permit:
In consultation with the Virginia DEQ, Enviva requested modifications to the air permit for our Southampton facility that will allow us to:
- Install additional air emission controls equipment to further minimize air emissions;
- Increase the permitted production volume; and
- Increase the permitted percentage of softwood (pine).
Additional background information on the permits and Enviva operations:
- We have made a commitment to voluntarily install additional air emissions control equipment.
- The new air quality control measures will ensure the company meets or exceeds all regulations while improving production and efficiency of the facility. The permit includes stringent testing, recordkeeping and reporting requirements to ensure continued compliance with the Clean Air Act.
- Enviva conducted due diligence to confirm that the plant’s sourcing area has commercially available low-value wood that meets its strict sustainability requirements in sufficient qualities to supply the plant at the proposed increased production level.
- Enviva’s Responsible Sourcing Policy dictates that the company will only source low value fiber from tracts that will be replanted or regenerate as forest.
- The request to increase the percentage of pine will provide greater flexibility in our sourcing while allowing us to meet customer demands for wood pellets with higher energy value.
Background on Enviva and Renewable Wood Energy:
- Bioenergy is part of an all-in strategy to reduce carbon emissions and limit dependence on fossil fuels. Biomass energy offers a 74-85% lifecycle reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared with coal. Power generation using biomass also provides a reliable, clean source of energy that complements the intermittency of wind and solar energy, enabling a stable grid without having to rely on fossil powered backup.
- American forest inventories are increasing every year. Today, in the southeast U.S. private forest owners are growing 40% more wood than they remove every year. Only 2% of the working forests in the Southeastern U.S. are harvested each year, while the remaining 98% continue to grow and store carbon. Working forests thrive when managed sustainably. Our business plays a crucial role in helping ensure the protection and growth of forests. Enviva does not source from forests that will be converted to another land use.
- U.S. Forest Service data shows that both forest area and inventory are increasing in the sourcing regions for Enviva plants that have operated the longest in North Carolina, and in fact, there is a clear upward trend during the period since we started operations.
- The key to keeping forests as forests is strong demand for forest products – including the additional value of being able to sell low-value wood for bioenergy. Additional demand raises the value landowners can get from keeping their land as managed forests. Absent strong demand, landowners have the incentive to convert their land to non-forest use for a higher return. That could mean a farm, a housing development, or a strip mall.
- Enviva provides landowners with a key market for their low-value wood – including “thinning,” limbs, tops, or crooked and knotted trees that would otherwise not get used for lumber or other higher value products. Our business plays a crucial role in helping ensure the protection and growth of forests.
- Enviva is certified to the stringent standards of the world’s foremost forestry organizations, such as the Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). These independent forest certification programs provide a consistent, verifiable and transparent framework for evaluating the sustainability of a company’s operations, from forest to product. We believe that landowner certification of forestland is a good thing, and so we pay more for fiber from certified forests. We engage in ongoing landowner outreach and education, and we make direct investments to support certifications of forestlands. As we continue working to increase the total percentage of lands certified, we also ensure that non-certified fiber comes from responsible sources.
- Enviva has also developed “Track & Trace®,” a leading-edge sustainable sourcing program, which provides transparent, publicly available data about Enviva’s sourcing. Track & Trace allows us to specifically identify the source of our fiber to its origin in the forest or sawmill and to further monitor and audit our procurement activities. As part of this program, we pay particular attention to land use change, use and effectiveness of Best Management Practices, wetlands, biodiversity, and certification status.
About Enviva Partners, LP
Enviva Partners, LP (NYSE: EVA) is a publicly traded master limited partnership that aggregates a natural resource, wood fiber, and processes it into a transportable form, wood pellets. The Partnership sells a significant majority of its wood pellets through long-term, take-or-pay off-take contracts with creditworthy customers in the United Kingdom and Europe. The Partnership owns and operates seven plants with a combined production capacity of over 3.5 million metric tons of wood pellets per year in Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida. In addition, the Partnership exports wood pellets through its marine terminals at the Port of Chesapeake, Virginia and the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina and from third-party marine terminals in Mobile, Alabama and Panama City, Florida.
To learn more about Enviva Partners, LP, please visit our website at www.envivabiomass.com.