Sunday, July 24, 2016

Deadline Nears For US Nitrogen Permit Comments

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

With the deadline less than 24 hours away, Greene County and other eastern Tennessee residents are continuing to file objections to a proposed five year renewal of a key permit for US Nitrogen.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation officials have set 5 p.m. Monday as the final deadline for comments on the proposed renewal of a permit allowing US Nitrogen to pump millions of gallons of water per day to the Nolichucky River.
Three more local residents filed their objections to the permit late last week. Benjamin Frazer wrote that the permit should be denied because environmental impact reports were never performed for neighboring counties. He also charged that area residents had not been given proper notice of the renewal.
Others filing objections included Anne Smith and Veronica Cox.
TDEC has already served notice that it intends to grant US Nitrogen a five year renewal.
The action comes as the company, a subsidiary of Ohio-based Austin Powder, is gearing up for full operations.
A recent TDEC inspection showed some limited production has taken place with some needed chemicals brought in from offsite. The company has also filed monthly reports on the water taken from and discharged to the Nolichucky through a 12-mile pipeline going from the $200 million Midway plant to the river.
The company will produce ammonium nitrate which will be used by Austin Powder to manufacture explosives.

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