More Methyl Bromide In Wilmington's Air?
A Royal Pest Solutions facility, that’s a fumigation plant near the Wilmington Port, is changing ownership. TIMA Capital is taking the location over, and wants a Title V Air Permit from the state’s Department of Air Quality. Such a permit would allow TIMA to release 90 tons of Methyl Bromide into the air. Currently, the permit is for 9 tons per year.
The Royal Pest Solutions facility on Sunnyvale Drive operated a pest control and fumigation yard that treats logs to be exported from Wilmington’s Port. If the Department of Air Quality approves the Title V permit, the facility – now owned and operated by TIMA Capital - would be allowed to increase the amount of Methyl Bromide it releases into the air above Wilmington to 90 tons a year.
Michael Pjetraj is the Deputy Director of the Division of Air Quality.
“The Title V permit is part of our permitting program, it’s also a part of the Federal Clean Air Act, and it’s a threshold where facilities that emit above a certain level of emissions are required to get the Title V permit.”
Methyl bromide can enter the body through inhalation by breathing air contaminated with methyl bromides, through skin or through eyes. It is highly toxic. The EPA says studies in humans indicate that the lungs may be severely injured by the acute or short-term inhaling of methyl bromide. Acute and chronic or long-term inhalation of methyl bromide can lead to neurological effects in humans. It’s also believed to damage the heart and kidneys.
The public comment period for the Title V application, through the Department of Environmental Quality, ends March 25.
All five New Hanover County’s Commissioners are submitting identical letters to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality regarding Tima Capital’s Title V Permit application to increase its Methyl Bromide emissions.
The letters request that the comment period be extended and that DEQ conduct a public information session in New Hanover County to address the permit request.
Editor's Note: This report was edited to correct the ownership of the fumigation facility, which has changed ownership and is now owned by TIMA Capital.