Friday, February 10, 2017
US Nitrogen Seeks Another Extension for Nitric Acid Plant
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
US Nitrogen is asking Tennessee environmental officials for an eight month extension in the deadline for reporting data on a nitric acid plant, a key component of its' Midway ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility.
In a letter to Michelle Owenby of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, US Nitrogen Plant Manager Andrew W. Velo asked that the current April 29 deadline for submitting test data be extended to Dec. 31.
The request comes just weeks after the company announced that the production facility was "fully operational."
In his letter Velo acknowledged that TDEC already had extended the deadlines for the plant.
Records and statements from TDEC officials show a recent attempt to start the nitric acid plant was halted after less than a day, apparently due to problems with monitoring equipment.
In his letter, however, Velo indicated that the plant could not meet the current deadline because of a lack of operating time.
"It is not anticipated that market conditions will allow us to operate the nitric acid plant enough days between now and April 29, the current deadline for the test results to accomplish all that needs to be done," Velo wrote.
"t should also be noted that if the nitric acid plant is not operating, there are no emissions," he added.
The deadline, according to the letter, applies to three different monitoring tests.
On Jan 17 TDEC spokeswoman Kim Schofinski stated, ""US Nitrogen's nitric acid plant ran on Jan. 17 but shut down. They are working to service the nitrous oxide continuous monitor before scheduling a restart of the plant."
The statement came on the same day US Nitrogen issued a statement announcing its Midway plant was "fully operational" and was supplying ammonium nitrate to its parent company, Ohio based Austin Powder.