By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Tennessee environmental regulators have given their approval to an amendment to a US Nitrogen permit that will double the number of flare start up hours allowed for each circuit of two ammonium trains.
The amendment was requested late last month and represents the eighth time that permit has been amended since it was first issued on Jan. 4, 2012.
In seeking the change, US Nitrogen stated that it would not cause any increase in pollutants "but will significantly enhance US Nitrogen's operating flexibility."
Under the amended permit US Nitrogen will be required to maintain detailed records showing total hours during which gases from start-up are vented to the flare.
The permit is just one of several the Midway company has obtained from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Although the company has claimed that the ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility has reached "full capacity" the firm has yet to get its nitric acid plant into full operation. Pending before the state is another permit amendment seeking an extension on deadlines for the acid production.
In one of its filings company officials acknowledged that current market conditions contributed to start up delays.