Tuesday, August 9, 2016
US Nitrogen Won't Be Fined for Violation
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Tennessee environmental officials say that US Nitrogen won't be fined for violating air pollution control rules during the startup of its Greene County ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility.
Eric Ward, spokesman for the state Department of Environment and Conservation, said today that agency officials were preparing a response to the company's voluntary report on its failure to use Selective Catalytic Reduction equipment while attempting to start up the ammonia plant on its Midway property.
"We are in the process of drafting a response letter that will address revising the compliance method for the SCR," Ward wrote in an email response to questions. "No penalties will be assessed."
"We will continue to allow the source to operate as long as it continues to be in compliance with its permit," he continued, adding that the company admitted to a violation of a compliance method and not a violation of its permit.
In a letter sent to TDEC last week, US Nitrogen Plant Manager Andrew Velo wrote that the violation was discovered in late July during a two day session between US Nitrogen officials and EnSafe, an environmental consulting firm.
Velo said in the letter that due to a misinterpretation of state requirements on when SCR equipment must be in use. The equipment is used to monitor nitrous oxide emissions.
"During a recent internal compliance review, it became apparent that US Nitrogen's interpretation with regard to SCR operation during plant startup periods was incorrect," Velo wrote.