In recent years, the cannabis industry has experienced a significant boom, with legalization spreading across various regions. While this has undoubtedly brought economic benefits, it has also raised concerns about the environmental impact of cannabis cultivation and processing, specifically regarding air quality. In this blog post, we will explore measures to improve compliance and mitigate the impact of emissions by the cannabis industry.
Reducing Air Quality Impacts from Cannabis Operations
To address the air quality impacts associated with cannabis cultivation and processing, there are several measures that can be taken:
Building-Wide Filtration: Installing building-wide filtration systems is highly recommended to reduce the emission of air pollutants into the ambient air. One effective technology is activated carbon filtration, which can significantly reduce emissions and help control odors. It's crucial to ensure a negative building pressure system to ensure that air is efficiently filtered before exiting the building.
Chemical Management Practices: For extraction processes involving volatile chemicals such as butane, proper chemical management practices and closed-loop extraction systems can minimize emissions due to evaporative losses.
Air Use Permits: What You Need to Know
A common question in the cannabis industry revolves around the need for air use permits when processing cannabis. As of now, the Air Quality Division does not require an air use permit for cannabis growing, as specific emission rates have not been established. However, it's essential to stay updated as studies on emissions from cannabis processing are ongoing, and regulations may change accordingly.
It's worth noting that other activities associated with cannabis, such as building power plants or installing emergency generators, may require an air use permit. The need for a permit depends on the specific activities and equipment involved, so it's advisable to consult with the Environmental Assistance Center for guidance.
Extracting Oils and Odor Control
If your cannabis facility is involved in essential oil extraction, whether it requires an air use permit depends on the use of volatile chemicals, such as butane and CO2, or high temperatures and pressure in the extraction process. Processes that do not involve chemicals or heat may not require a permit, but it's best to consult with experts for clarification.
Addressing cannabis-related odors is another important aspect, both for maintaining positive relationships with your neighbors as well as to comply with State rules. Effective odor control technologies include activated carbon filtration, ozone generation control, and various misting and vaporizing methods. Activated carbon filtration is particularly recommended due to its proven effectiveness in removing odors and other gaseous contaminants.
For those seeking additional information on air use permits and the permitting process, the EGLE Air Permits page is a valuable resource. You can also find more specific information related to the cannabis industry's air-related issues at Michigan.gov/EGLECannabis.
As the cannabis industry continues to expand, it's crucial to address the environmental challenges it poses, including air quality concerns. By staying informed about emissions, permits, and odor control measures, cannabis businesses can contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.
For more detailed guidance and information, consult with your cannabis attorney’s or give us a call at (313) 446-2235.