Wednesday, May 3, 2017

US Nitrogen Says It Will Forge Ahead

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

Officials of the US Nitrogen say they will move ahead with their Greene County operations despite the denial of a permit extension by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
In a statement issued to the media today the ammonium nitrate manufacturing firm said that despite the denial of a request for additional time to conduct tests on a nitric acid operation, they expect to be able to continue the startup of full operations.
"We will continue to work closely with TDEC to complete the last steps in the required testing," the company said in the statement, adding, "US Nitrogen does not believe this will affect the operational status of the nitric acid plant."
The decision to deny the request was made last week in a letter to US Nitrogen's plant manager Andrew Velo.
On Monday the same state official informed Velo that no financial or other penalties would be imposed on US Nitrogen despite multiple permit violations. Those included the emission of toxic nitrous oxide gases, one of which produced a large orange cloud that hung over the company's Midway complex.
In the statement today US Nitrogen said that it was in compliance "with the majority of the requirements of the existing nitric acid plant air permit...The testing process will not affect our emissions and, therefore, not adversely affect air quality in the vicinity of the plant."

1 comment:

  1. This kind of cheerleading by TDEC shows just how TDEC has become irrelevant in the US nitrogen plant. An employee was airlifted to Augusta, GA in chemical accident, with severe burns, air accidents sprayed into community, now cannot even meet the basic tests for a start-up and then this most recent accident with the acid spill where members of the community had to self report to local authorities! TDEC's Ms Owenby has the nerve to state that US nitrogen has been self reporting! That is such a farce. And the Greene County Industrial Board(IDB), County Mayor, and chair of the IDB, are standing idly by wringing their hands, while members of the Midway/Mosheim communities are declared to be "collateral damage"! US nitrogen, county officials and TDEC have determined that members of these communities have no value! A plant that clearly TDEC does not have any interest or expertise in the oversight of the permits nor the safety of the plant and or employees. For TDEC to take this position that it is OK for these Austin Powder owners to run at will and with impunity is now bordering on criminal positions, in my opinion. How many people have the information that US nitrogen is operating with a federal permit given by Homeland Security and is an "explosives" plant? Why is TDEC being so cavalier about this plant? For TDEC and the local authorizes to be so absent while US nitrogen puts human lives at risk is truly mean and shameless. No emergency notification in place! Nor any evacuation plan for the three schools that would be affected by such an accident. How cruel can these people get? It is being done with malice and intentional efforts, I feel. What a load of horse hockey being sold as a jobs issue by the guv of TN. Haslam will not go unnoticed in this fiasco.