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.
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
The following presents contact information for the Department's
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:
Citizens have reported issues with:
The Department is continuing
to meet with GREC personnel at the facility site and discuss possible
efforts to reduce wood chip processing objectionable odors.
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
Dust: A dust violation was recorded and resolved
with the implementation of the following BMPs
Installed a wind sock in the wood yard to indicate to wood
operators to be sensitive to the potential of winds heading to the
A weather station transmittal of continuous data to the
plant manager's office
When winds are above 5 mph, fugitive drift conditions will
be reviewed and operations modified as required.
Water spray devices are installed on the #4 conveyor and at
the end of the telescoping drop chute.
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.
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.
GREC Site Certificate
V Air Operation Permit
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related concerns to the Department.