EPD holds meeting on Toyo emissions levels
by Jason Lowrey
Aug 29, 2014 | 1823 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When no one from the public attended the Environmental Protection Division’s Thursday night meeting on an emission application for Toyo Tire’s expansion, it was not a surprise.

Eric Cornwell, who is the program manager for EPD’s Stationary Source Permitting Program that determines whether a company’s permit application should be approved, said no comments had been received from the public or the Environmental Protection Agency. The application is an amendment to Toyo’s air quality permit.

“This hearing was scheduled not because of public request, but because Toyo wanted to make sure that any public questions or public concerns were addressed in a timely fashion,” Cornwell said. “... This is not an earth shattering change that they’re doing. They’re taking their existing facility and expanding that, adding some new equipment to it, but other than that it’s still pretty much business as usual.”

Among the new equipment is a planned 53 million Btu per hour boiler fired with natural gas, which will join three other similarly sized boilers at Toyo’s plant. In addition, Cornwell said, silos, mixers and storage tanks will be added as well. The boiler, however, was the focus of the emission cap meeting.

Although the company will be adding another boiler, its emissions will remain low enough to still be classified as a minor source.

“The facility right now is considered a synthetic minor source under air quality permitting regulations and the Clean Air Act. So it’s a synthetic minor source, meaning they technically have the ability to become a major source as far as capacity, but they’ve taken constraints — controls on their emissions — [to] turn back some of the natural gas usage that they don’t need to run at 100 percent capacity to keep those emissions less than a major source,” Cornwell said.

According to the EPD presentation, Toyo’s emissions of NOx may increase by 57 tons to 71.06 tons and emissions of carbon monoxide will increase to 59.3 tons. Emitted particulate matter is expected to decrease by 19 tons, which is due to a revision of the plant’s emissions rather than equipment.

“But what this is is a decrease from the original application back in 2004,” Cornwell said of the particulate matter. “... They were done using some more conservative emission factors back then. Well, now it’s 10 years later, there’s a lot more known about the way this facility operates. They can kind of sharpen their pencils and have numbers that are more reflective. So it looks like a decrease, but that is a decrease from the original permitted facility.”

Any additional comments on the application will be accepted through the end of today. A draft of the permit is available at www.georgiaair.org/airpermit/downloads/permits/Drafts/sip22716/0150104draft.pdf. Comments can be mailed to 4244 International Parkway, Suite 120, Atlanta, GA 30354 or emailed to Cornwell at eric.cornwell@gadnr.org.

“Any comments that we do get tonight or tomorrow we will consider those in our final review of the permit application, and we address any relevant comments,” Cornwell said. “We don’t automatically say, ‘Oh, they don’t like this plan, we’re not going to let them do it.’ We do everything in accordance with our air quality regulations that we’re required to enforce.”