Monday, January 23, 2017
TDEC: US Nitrogen Restarts Nitric Acid Plant
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
US Nitrogen has quietly restarted its nitric acid plant with state regulatory officials on hand to witness the event, according to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Kim Schofinski, a spokeswoman for the agency, said US Nitrogen informed the state that they planned to restart the plant on Jan. 17 and it did in fact occur.
"The division (Air Pollution Contro) had staff on hand to witness the event," Schofinski said in an email response to questions.
US Nitrogen did not respond to a request for comment.
The restart comes some five months after the initial startup effort triggered an environmental event that produced a huge orange cloud that hung over the 500 acre site. A subsequent startup attempt in early September also was aborted.
The TDEC spokeswoman said the state investigation of the August event is still ongoing, adding that it has been slowed "by the dormancy of the nitric acid plant."
She noted that the last full inspection of the plant was in August and it was found in compliance.