By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Tennessee environmental officials are reviewing new data submitted by US Nitrogen following 60 days of continuous monitoring designed to set limits on emissions for cooling towers which will be used in the production of ammonium nitrate.
The data submitted, according to Kim Schofinski of the Tennessee Deparment of Environment and Conservation, shows the electric conductivity of the water being processed through the towers. That, in turn, will provide officials with a way to measure the emissions of particulates in the cooling tower water.
"Since the concentration of solids in the water cannot be continuously monitored," Schofinski said, "the permit requires the company to monitor conductivity of the cooling water as a surrogate."
The more solids in the water, the higher the conductivity she said, adding that the maximum allowable particulate emission rate is .17 pounds per hour.
She said the data US Nitrogen collected and submitted will now be reviewed by agency officials to set a maximum daily average conductivity which will then be incorporated into US Nitrogen's permit. Currently there is no limit in the permit, she added.
In submitting the data, US Nitrogen Plant Manager Andrew Velo asked TDEC to set a maximum daily conductivity rate of 2,750 units.