Wednesday, December 30, 2015
US Nitrogen Seeks to Triple Some Emissions
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
US Nitrogen has submitted a proposed amendment to one of its environmental permits that would allow the company to vastly increase the amount of nitrous oxide it can emit from its yet-to-open Midway operations.
The application, which was submitted to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), calls for an increase in allowable emissions from .01 to .035 pounds per million British Thermal Units for nitrous oxides and smaller hikes in greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
In a statement released in response to questions about the amendments, US Nitrogen said that the higher emission levels are still within limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and TDEC.
"US Nitrogen has equipment and processes in place to minimize emissions," the company statement reads, citing an "ultra low nitrous oxide burner and flue gas recirculation in its industrial boilers."
The proposed amendment comes as the company nears a scheduled 2016 start up of operations for the $200 million ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility.
The permit application notes that the amendment would also reduce the annual amount of natural gas used to fire its boiler from 470 to 380 million cubic feet.
According to the application, the amendment would increase nitrous oxide emissions by less than five tons per year.
The revised permit would also cover the operation of flares used to control emissions during shutdown and startup operations.
In addition to the ammonium nitrate production operations the permit applies to a nitric acid plant, a carbon dioxide liquefaction plant and a fuel dispensing facility, according to the public notice of the application.
TDEC, in a recently published public notice, asked interested parties to comment on the application.
In its statement US Nitrogen attributed the changes to "more detailed engineering being conducted on the plant as construction is concluded."