NCDAQ looking for public comment on proposed Duplin County biogas facility

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WARSAW, N.C. (WNCT) – Duplin County could soon be home to a renewable gas project.

North Carolina’s Division of Air Quality wants to hear from people in Duplin and Sampson counties about a proposed biogas facility. It’s called Align RNG. It’s a partnership between Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods. The project involves converting manure from 19 local hog farms into renewable energy.

“The methane product that is created, it gets inserted into this natural gas pipeline that’s then used for commercial and residential use,” said Zaynab Nasif, spokesperson for the NCDAQ.

The State Department of Environmental Quality held a virtual public hearing Monday to allow people in those counties to voice their opinions on the project. One hundred nine people signed up to speak. Some were in favor of the proposed project.

“This project will indisputable enhance the quality of our air,” said Santiago Vazquez, hog farmer. “Eastern North Carolina is home to many local farms that will greatly benefit from the ingenuity of this entire concept.”

Others were opposed.

“Dominion and Smithfield continue to make money off of a banned, outdated system of waste management,” said Kyle Cornish, who spoke at the public hearing. “This project would submit nearby communities to more than 100,000 pounds of toxic air chemical pollutants.”

Those who couldn’t attend Monday’s meeting can submit comments to the Division of Air Quality until Friday at 5 p.m.

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