Monday, May 22, 2017
US Nitrogen Draws 6.4 Million River Gallons
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
The volume of water US Nitrogen is drawing from the Nolichucky River topped 6 million gallons for the second month in a row during April.
In a report filed with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Greene County ammonium nitrate producer reported that on 10 days during the month more than 1 million gallons were pumped from the river.
According to the report, 1,018,440 gallons were withdrawn on six consecutive days from April 9 to April 14.
The amount pumped back into the river during the month was 6.4 million gallons with the largest amount, 715,300 gallons, pumped back into the river on April 18.
Last month the company reported drawing 7.6 million gallons from the river while discharging 2.75 million gallons.
The monthly reports are required under one of US Nitrogen's permits from TDEC. The report was signed by Andre W. Velo, US Nitrogen's plant manager.
The increased use of the river is another indication the company is attempting to get into full operation despite a series of delays due to problems starting up a nitric acid plant.
In the most recent incident, in which nitric acid vapors were released, the company told TDEC a ruptured heat exchanger was the cause.
The use of the Nolichucky has proven to be the most controversial aspect of the company's efforts to get the plant in operation. Local advocates have warned that it could have an adverse effect on the afrea's drinking water supply.