As our region continues to grow and attract new business opportunities, it is important that we engage with state and local officials and developers to obtain information and answer important questions.

Our neighbors in Hamlet have organized an opportunity for people in our area to learn more about a proposed project. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality will host an online public meeting on Feb. 22, to answer questions about a draft permit for a wood and railroad tie pyrolysis facility for International Tie, LLC – Project Tie, in Hamlet (Richmond County). A public hearing will follow on March 1.

The proposed facility would convert untreated lumber and creosote-treated railroad ties into small charcoal pellets called biochar. Some concerns raised by this process include impacts to air quality and potential toxic runoff into the public water supply. Participating and learning more about this proposal provides all of us with information to ensure the health and welfare of our communities.

The meeting on Feb. 22 begins at 6 p.m. and can be accessed by calling toll-free +1 (415) 655-0003, Access Code 178 013 3745.

The WebEx Link: Event Password: NCDAQ.

To speak, you must register by 4 p.m. February 22 at or call (919) 618-0968.

Written comments can be submitted by email to: until 5 p.m. on March 3.

Julie Lillie


Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page:

(6) comments

Conrad Meyer

I for one, applaud the efforts of the DEQ for being willing to look at ways to reduce solid waste. All too often, they simply sit back and do nothing. Meanwhile, the solid waste division bans woody solid waste like limbs and branches, pallets, etc from landfills. So it piles up. I have personally spoken to Michael Regan (outgoing DEQ secretary who Biden promoted to be an administrator in the EPA) several times about the big problem of woody solid waste here in North Carolina. He was attentive and listened, but offered no answers. (Mostly because, under current constraints, there are no answers).

This pyrolysis plant may be a step in the right direction if it can be done using best available technology (BAT) and limiting the feedstocks. I know for a fact that there is a cabinet manufacturer in Hamlet that has lots of sawdust and board ends that could be pyrolyzed, but the tiny amount of stain on the surface of the wood "contaminated" it.

Lots more has to go into this but lets not play "chicken little" and claim the sky is falling before we know the facts.

I use the chicken little analogy on purpose because of previous uproars about handling chicken litter.

Peyton Cook

It must be noted that the USGA is locating a second headquarters here in Pinehurst which will bring more jobs. This is an appropriate move, as this is a golf-centered community.

Barbara Misiaszek

This is a good thing to bring the USGA's 2.nd home to Pinehurst because we are a "golf centered" community.But residents should ask themselves if that's all we want to be, "a golf centered community".If that's the extent of how we will use development resources in the future,our future will be extremely limited. Where will kids graduating from our high schools make their careers? Certainly not here.

John Misiaszek

Kent Misegades

More industry is very good - bring it on! If you are really concerned about local air quality, devise a means to inexpensively eliminate odors from chicken farms.

Conrad Meyer

Careful Kent, don't give the regulators any ideas. They might just decide that the odors from kitty litter boxes need to be regulated. That will turn all the cat lovers against you!

Justin Bradford

Only the most brilliant among us would proffer a non-sequitor. Kent, fight against the radical leftist air polluting chicken industry by not eating any chicken. I’m surprised a genius like you couldn’t figure that out.

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