Tennessee regulators approve permits for US Nitrogen plant

05 June 2014 23:38 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tennessee regulators confirmed on Thursday the approval of three permits for the planned US Nitrogen fertilizer plant to be located in Greene County.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) on 3 June approved one air permit and two water permits for the planned facility. The water permits will allow the company to build a pipeline and pump station on the nearby Nolichucky River.

While production capacities have not been revealed, company officials have said the plant would primarily produce liquid ammonium nitrate used in the manufacturing of explosives but also quantities of nitric acid and ammonia.

The plant is expected to cost $250m-300m and create up to 80 new full-time jobs, and result in about 300 construction jobs when the project enters the building phase.

The project has come under some local criticism as area residents have been expressing concerns about the planned facility using water from the local river and the potential discharge into the waterway. The application with the state agency did outline plans for the plant to pump water with moderate amounts of ammonia back into the river.

Those opposed said they have been strongly pushing for regulators to make the company follow its original plan, which called for the company to pay for water from Greene County's Old Knoxville Utility District and then release the used water through an established wastewater facility before it could reach the river.

US Nitrogen officials have stated their facility will be compliant with state and federal environmental regulations, and TDEC officials said their compliance efforts will be directed towards monitoring the air and wastewater that would be produced.

TDEC said any party that participated in the public comment period can file an appeal within 30 days of the plant permits being issued.


By Mark Milam