Thursday, August 20, 2015

IDB To Vote on US Nitrogen Settlement

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

A vote on whether to accept a proposed settlement in a lawsuit challenging a key aspect of the US Nitrogen project has been scheduled for Sept. 9 by the Industrial Development Board of Greeneville and Greene County.
Notice of the 8:30 a.m. meeting of the panel was published this week. The notice also states that residents who wish to speak at the meeting must call the county mayor's office at 798-1766 by 9:30 a.m. Sept. 8.
The settlement will likely end a suit filed by the Old Knox Utility District challenging part of the US Nitrogen project that will bypass the district  by pumping water from the Nolichucky River.
The 11-page agreement already has been approved by the utility district board. US Nitrogen officials have also signaled agreement.
Under the agreement US Nitrogen, Yara North America and Praxair "or related, substitute, or other entities" will be able to use a 12-mile double barrelled pipeline to draw water from the river.
Other new companies seeking to use the pipeline would be required to give the utility district a 60-day right of first refusal to provide any needed services.
The inclusion of the two additional companies could overcome concerns by state officials that the pipeline would serve only one company. State transportation officials rejected the original pipeline proposal for that reason.
Under the agreement US Nitrogen will pay $50,000 to the utility district, but half of that total will be set aside for services or improvements to US Nitrogen and the other two companies.
In addition to the $50,000 payment, the agreement calls for US Nitrogen to provide a monthly $10,000 guaranty of payments for potable water that will be used at the Mosheim facility.

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