On July 15th, Dogwood Alliance joined with community members and advocates across the region for a public hearing on Enviva’s proposed expansion in Sampson County, North Carolina. We stood together, showed the power of our movement and made front-page headlines — inspiring more people to support our shared vision of healthy forests, sustainable jobs and thriving communities.
“We must reduce emissions, not only in North Carolina but throughout this entire country,” said Reverend Leo Woodberry. “And we cannot do that by cutting down our forests.”
In Sampson County, Enviva has applied to increase production by 119,375 tons of wood pellets per year. If the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permits this expansion, it will mean 2,865 additional acres of forests logged each year, increasing the facilities needs to over 15,000 acres of forests annually.
The last thing we need is more clearcuts, more dangerous logging trucks on the road, less habitat for wildlife, and less protection from natural disasters.
This expansion would also mean more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The Sampson County facility alone would produce 1,203,595 tons per year – equivalent to 231,822 additional cars on the road.
“Pine plantations are not forests. Let’s be proactive, not reactive, before it’s too late and we don’t have any forests,” commented Jane Thornton, a Sampson County resident living less than one mile from Enviva’s Sampson County facility.
As our movement to protect forests and communities across the South grows, Enviva continues to apply for permits to destroy even more forests. Before the public comment period on the Sampson County facility had even closed, NC DEQ had already issued draft permits for expansion at another Enviva facility — this time in Northampton County, where Enviva’s dirty facility is just one of many environmental injustices that community members face.
Stay tuned! We’ll be asking you to submit public comments to NC DEQ and Governor Cooper to stop the expansion in Northampton County and to attend the public hearing on August 20th.