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Meeting Set on Swine Biogas Permit Changes

The public can dial in or log on at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 for a meeting on proposed permit modifications for four swine feeding operations in Duplin and Sampson counties.

The state Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources is holding the meeting to allow the public to provide comments on the draft permit modifications for the four swine feeding operations participating in a biogas processing project with Align RNG, LLC.

In addition to the air permit application for the Align BF Grady Rd biogas processing facility, which was provided for public comment in November, four permitted swine operations in Duplin and Sampson counties have submitted applications to water resources to modify their existing permits.

Three of these facilities request to install new in-ground, synthetically lined, and covered anaerobic digesters. Anaerobic digestion is the process of bacteria breaking down organic matter, such as manure, without oxygen, which generates biogas. The biogas that is generated is made mostly of methane, the primary component of natural gas, which is used as an energy source, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The fourth facility requests to cover an existing synthetically lined lagoon.

Given the significant public interest in the Align biogas project, DWR will provide an opportunity for public comment and community engagement. DWR will host the public meeting session to provide information and answer questions about the animal feeding operations permit modification applications. The public meeting is only for the draft Animal Feeding Operations Permits, which will include new provisions to address the operation of the onsite digesters and biogas production systems.

For English audio, call 1-415-655-0003. Access code is 171 326 6561. For Spanish audio, call 1-415-655-0003. Access code is 178 247 7730.

To participate WebEx, use the link,, and event password DEQANOPS.

To speak at the public meeting, register by noon Jan. 26 at or call 919-707-3645.

Comments can be submitted through Jan. 29 by email to with the subject line “Swine Biogas,” by leaving a voicemail at 919-707-9010 or by mail to Ramesh Ravella, Department of Environmental Quality, 1636 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1636.

If it’s necessary to postpone the meeting to the alternate date of Feb. 1, that information will be posted on the website and the comment period will remain open until Feb. 4.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.