Covington-based fiber manufacturer FiberVisions is considering expanding its operation, which while it could add jobs would also increase its air particulate emissions by 2 percent, or 3.6 tons per year.
The company, located at 7101 Alcovy Road, filed a permit modification with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in case it decides to add four fiber extrusion lines.
"Because of the length of time required, FiberVisions is proactively moving forward with obtaining the necessary permits," said local Plant Manger Scott Powell. "Our current sales projections indicate we will possibly need additional capacity in the near future, but those projections are subject to change based on economic conditions. The line, if expanded, would produce polyolefin fibers used in the hygiene industry."
The company currently emits 178 tons of particulate matter per year, said Eric Cornwell manager of the EPD's Stationary Source Permitting Program in the Air Protection Branch.
A permit modification is not needed unless emissions increase by 5 tons, but Cornwell said the company is combining this expansion with a previous small one, which would push the total increase past 5 tons.
"Depending where you stand, you may say 3.6 tons is a lot or a little, but as far as compared to other permitting actions, similar units, extruders are typically exempt from permitting per Georgia rules," Cornwell said, because they don't generally release as large of amounts of emissions.
Powell said the amount of dust particles being released is below a harmful level based on studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"Emissions above 10 tons per year would require additional permit requirements. Hence, this increase in particulates is not expected to deteriorate air quality," Powell said.
Residents concerned about the emission increase can get more information at www.georgiaair.org/airpermit/html/permits/draft.html., or by calling the EPD and asking to speak to Cornwell at 404-463-7000. Give the public notice number of 40273 when calling.
During the past three years, FiberVisions has added 40 new positions and more than $19 million worth of new equipment and other assets, Powell said. Because an expansion is not certain, he said he did not know how many jobs could be created.
In related news, the company is changing its name from FiberVisions Incorporated to FiberVisions Manufacturing Company in order to more readily distinguish it from other related FiberVisions affiliated companies, Powell said.