Thursday, March 9, 2017
TDEC Delays Posting US Nitrogen Filing
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Nearly a month after it was submitted, Tennessee environmental officials have finally posted on the agency website a monthly Nolichucky River water withdrawal and discharge report from US Nitrogen.
The report, which shows little activity, is dated Feb. 14 but was only posted by TDEC today. The reports are usually posted mid-month.
According to the report US Nitrogen pumped a total of 3.4 million gallons from the river on four consecutive days between Jan. 14 to Jan. 17. The daily amounts ranged from 4,395 gallons to 1.2 million gallons.
Three discharges totaling a little over 3 million gallons were reported from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8.
In seeking state approval, the company projected that at full operation nearly two million gallons per day would be drawn from the river, with more than half being discharged back into the Nolichucky.
The report indicates there has been little activity at the $200 million Midway facility despite the recent release of a press statement contending the ammonium nitrate facility had reached full capacity.
US Nitrogen has asked TDEC for an extension in meeting reporting requirements for its nitric acid plant, a key component of the operation.
A TDEC spokeswoman said US Nitrogen has agreed to notify the agency when further attempts to start up the acid plant are scheduled. State inspectors were on hand for the last failed attempt in January.
Kim Schofinski said a startup was initiated on Jan. 17 but then shutdown.
"They are working to service the nitrous oxide continuous emission monitor before scheduling a restart of the plant," she wrote in an email.
She said US Nitrogen's extension request for the acid plant is still under review.