Friday, June 17, 2016
US Nitrogen Discharges 1.5 million Gallons to Nolichucky
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
US Nitrogen has reported to state environmental officials that it has discharged nearly 1.6 million gallons of water to the Nolichucky River through a controversial 12-mile pipeline.
The discharge report was dated June 15 and showed 806,400 gallons were discharged on May 24 and another 774,110 gallons were discharged the next day for a total of 1,580,510 gallons.
The report is the third to show large volumes of water withdrawn or discharged into the river.
According to the report the discharge was at the 20.8 mile marker on the river, the location of a pumping station operated by the company.
The report follows a lengthy public hearing held recently in Greeneville in which local residents testified against a proposed five year extension of the permit that enables the ammonium nitrate manufacturer to discharge water into the Nolichucky.
Officials of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation have announced that residents have until July 25 to submit written comments on the proposed permit extension.
US Nitrogen has not announced a date when it expects to begin full operations at the $200 million facility, but the monthly reports submitted to TDEC indicate a gradual increase in activity.
According to the company some, but not all of the water drawn from the river will be used for cooling towers needed in the production of ammonium nitrate. The ammonium nitrate will be shipped to US Nitrogen's parent company, Austin Powder, for use in the production of explosives.