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Northeast District - Gainesville Renewable Energy Center   Programs

Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC)


The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) facility air construction permit was issued in December 2010. The facility is located on 441, northwest of the Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) coal fired electric facility and southeast of a dairy. 

 GREC Aerial View

The facility started receiving wood materials in April 2013 from a contracted source.  The primary wood material supplied is wood shavings / chips. 

While the facility went through numerous startups and shut downs during system shake out, the system didn't start producing continuous power until early October.  The facility completed process emission testing in late November and passed all State and Federal requirements.

The facility permit includes numerous Best Management Practices (BMPs) that the facility must employ to reduce the potential of dust leaving the site.

Most recently the GREC facility has proposed and has implemented additional BMPs to manage dust and is evaluating BMPs to control wood mulch smells.

DEP's Northeast District office has responded to several complaints to date regarding dust.  Recently we have received complaints about odors and they too have been investigated.  However, our investigations indicated no violations with their air permit.  Further, we remain in contact with the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department regarding odor and dust complaints they have investigated.  They too were unable to validate any violation.  Still, we have assigned a staff inspector located in the Gainesville area to frequently check on operations and swiftly respond to any complaints and ensure the requirements of the air permit are enforced.

The following presents contact information for the Departmentís local complaint response.  Should you, a citizen or business, have concerns or wish a complaint investigation or just lodge a complaint, please feel free to contact Carmine Oliverio.  His contact information is displayed below.

Local Inspector Contact Info: Carmine Oliverio   -   Phone #: 386-590-9089   -   Email: Carmine.Oliverio@dep.state.fl.us

Citizens have reported issues with:

  • Dust:  A dust violation was recorded and resolved with the implementation of the following BMPs

    (1)    Installed a wind sock in the wood yard to indicate to wood operators to be sensitive to the potential of winds heading to the southwest.
    (2)   A weather station transmittal of continuous data to the plant manager's office.
    (3)   When winds are above 5 mph, fugitive drift conditions will be reviewed and operations modified as required.
    (4)   Water spray devices are installed on the #4 conveyor and at the end of the telescoping drop chute.
    (5)   On January 10, 2014 GREC started applying a lignin binding agent to reduce unconfined emissions.
    (6)  GREC has employed the use of water cannons to increase fugitive dust control.

  • Odor: An objectionable odor means any odor present in the outdoor atmosphere which by itself or in combination with other odors, is or may be harmful or injurious to human health or welfare, which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable use and enjoyment of life or property, or which creates a nuisance.  The District has inspectors that are dispatched from the Jacksonville office as well as an additional inspector who is located in the Gainesville area to provide community and facility inspections in relation to issues concerning operations at GREC.  Our inspectors are frequently checking on GREC's operations and responding to inquiries and requests to assess compliance with the requirements of the facility's air permit.  Additional staff members from our Jacksonville District office have also made numerous site visits to both GREC and the surrounding community.  While checking for smells in nearby communities, Department inspectors have talked with residents and employees of local businesses to determine the extent of possible impacts of smells that may be coming from the GREC woody fuel piles.

The Department is continuing to meet with GREC personnel at the facility site and discuss possible efforts to reduce wood chip processing objectionable odors.  Our local inspector is also keeping a record of odor observations which we have traced to past practices regarding the aging of wood chips.  While at the plant, there will always be a minimal "garden center" aroma, and from time to time the mulch smell may be stronger, our inspections thus far have not documented long durations of strong scents or periods of obnoxious odors.  The facility has modified some management procedures in relation to the wood chip storage and is starting to evaluate BMPs to address additional  reduction of mulch aromas emanating from the yard wood storage pile.  While it is anticipated that pine scents and some periods of a stronger mulch smell will periodically occur the Department will continue to prompt the facility to implement ways of reducing potential aromas.

  • Noise: The following links provide information in relation to local noise ordinances.  The DEP has no noise rules that would be applicable in relation to operations at the GREC facility.

    Applicable Ordinances
           Alachua County Code of Ordinances - Chapter 110
           Gainesville Code of Ordinances - Chapter 15

    Plant and area wide investigations conducted by the City of Gainesville and the Alachua county EPD have not found any violation with their respective noise ordinance.

    In mid December GREC installed noise baffles within the emissions stack to further reduce noise.

    GREC Satellite Image

Compliance Activities

GREC Construction Permit

GREC Site Certificate


The Departmentís Division of Air (DARM) in Tallahassee, received an application from GREC for an operating permit.  DARM requested that GREC advertise that an application had been submitted, and the advertisement ran on February 20, 2014.  At a later date GREC will be required to publish a public notice of the Departments Intent to Issue.  That public Notice will specify a time frame within which the public has the right to make comments or petition.  All department permits are subject to petitioning for Administrative Hearing.

 

 

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Last updated: April 23, 2014
  FDEP - Northeast District - Contact

8800 Baymeadows Way West, Suite 100, Jacksonville, Florida 32256   904-256-1700 (phone) / 904-256-1588 (fax)
NED Contacts

For critical after hours emergencies call the State Warning Point Number:  1-800-320-0519 

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