Friday, November 20, 2015
Citations Issued in US Nitrogen Inspection
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A two-day on site state inspection of the sprawling US Nitrogen facility in Mosheim Greene County turned up several violations of regulations but officials concluded it "generally appeared to be consistent" with multiple environmental permits.
The results of the mid-September inspection were posted recently on the state Department of Environmental Conservation website. US Nitrogen is required to file an action plan within 30 days with a proposed implementation schedule.
The state officials also noted that some items, such as records and equipment, were missing simply because the ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility is not yet in operation.
"Some pieces of equipment, such as cartridge filters were noted as missing from the process diagram," the seven-page report states, adding that available records were limited because the plant is "not yet in operation."
The report dated Oct. 29 was based on a visit conducted on Sept. 15 and 16.
Deficiencies cited include a lack of required data in stormwater runoff reports and a missing signage required under state permits.
Also cited was the need for flow monitors and some deficiencies in erosion preventon and sediment control with straw bales in disrepair. Some records retention requirements were "inconsistent" and for some needed verifications were missing, the report states.
They noted US Nitrogen did not yet have a needed industrial users permit from Mosheim.
But the report also cites positive findings
"Areas disturbed for installed pipelines generally appeared to be stabilized with vegetative cover," the report states, adding that "production areas appear to be largely complete."
And "rockcheck dams "appear to be properly installed."
The inspection team quoted US Nitrogen's Justin Freeark as stating that actual operations were expected to being in 2016.
A cooling tower was already operational and had been filled with water from the Old Knox Utility District a few days earlier, according to the report.