Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Appeal Filed on US Nitrogen Permit
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Warning of the degradation of the Nolichucky River, a Jonesborough, Tenn. resident has filed an appeal of the permit renewal recently approved by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for US Nitrogen.
In a five-page letter to the state environmental agency, Stan Olmstead stated that the river "will be degraded and injured by the proposed US Nitrogen discharge."
In the letter Olmstead asks the state to reverse its recent decision renewing the permit that allows US Nitrogen to discharge up to two million gallons of water per day.
Olmstead, who was one of the area residents to testify against the permit renewal at a June public hearing, said it was apparent that his testimony was not considered.
Charging that there are other alternatives to discharging into the Nolichucky, Olmstead said, "I believe US Nitrogen is not proposing Best Available Technology to minimize pollution strictly for cost saving measures."
"I ask that the industry and others wishing to utilize or impact waters of the state not just meet present standards but that the standards be modified and accomplish a near zero impact to the aquatic system," he continued.
He noted that the river already is being impacted by agricultural and other industrial runoff, including Uranium from Nuclear Fuels Services.
Olmstead also challenged TDEC's conclusion that the discharge would have a de minimus or minimal impact on the river.
"The state has relatively little understanding of how US Nitrogen's pollutions will negatively impact each and every species of the river," the appeal letter states.
In asking for the renewal to be denied, Olmstead concluded by stating that US Nitrogen could reduce its impact to near zero by other methods, such as "water impoundment, filtration, reverse osmosis and other technical methods."
Donahue Bible, a longtime opponent of the US Nitrogen project, also has written TDEC officials challenging statements in a report issued by the agency in defense of its permit renewal decision.
Bible disputed the claim that use of the river became necessary because US Nitrogen could not get a commitment from the utility district to supply the needed water.