On November 8th, nearly 200 people attended a public hearing in Richmond County to learn more about and weigh in on Enviva’s plans to expand production at their Hamlet facility. Enviva, the world’s largest wood pellet manufacturer, cuts down our Southern US forests, turns them into pellets, and ships them to Europe to be burned for electricity. Now Enviva is gearing up for a string of expansions at their North Carolina and Virginia facilities. Together, these expansions could equal 400,000 additional tons of wood pellets each year – requiring 9,600 additional acres of forests to be cut down per year.
In Hamlet, NC, Dogwood Alliance joined local concerned residents and environmental justice advocates from across the state to voice support for clean air and increased forest protection. The hearing represented the first time North Carolinians had meaningful involvement in the permitting process, as the community was denied an opportunity to have a public hearing on the initial permitting decision.