State environmental officials held a public hearing Thursday night on a possible change at chemical company Croda's Atlas Point facility in New Castle.
Croda is seeking approval from the state to build a new heat and power system.
The company wants to burn landfill gas from the Cherry Island Landfill in Wilmington to generate electricity.
The landfill gas would otherwise be flared. Atlas Point Site Director Chris Barrett says it will save the facility from using natural gas to generate power.
“We feel our way of using landfill gas is more clean and it also prevents us from using the resources it takes to make electricity at the utilities or to produce the natural gas that we would otherwise buy,” Barrett said.
Barrett says Croda’s system will reduce carbon emissions. Newark resident Peggy Schultz says she supports this.
“The time has come to do something about carbon dioxide emissions and these guys are reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” Schultz said.
But Schultz says she wonders how the carbon reduction will compare to other pollutants Croda expects the system to emit, like nitrous oxide.
According to the environmental impacts listed in Croda’s application, the company expects to emit 74 pounds of nitrous oxide and 15 pounds of sulfur oxide per day.
If a mechanical malfunction occurred with the system, Croda says emissions of carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide could increase temporarily.
“However, these conditions are continuously monitored by the engine computer and all notify the operator via alarms if a malfunction has occured,” the company said in its application.
The state expects to make a decision on Croda’s permit before the end of March.