Greeneville, TN — US Nitrogen

UPDATED: 04/17/2018 — see Change Log

OWNER: US Nitrogen LLC (Austin Powder Company)
PROJECT: Greenfield ammonium nitrate plant

US Nitrogen broke ground in February 2012, when it expected its new plant to start up in March 2014, but the project was fraught with problems. Permits were revised and reissued repeatedly, and the site had major issues with compliance, which appear to continue even today. Construction and design issues led to major delays and lawsuits. The start-up process eventually began in May 2015 but the ammonia plant didn’t start up until June 2016. Within a couple months, the site was temporarily shut down under federal and state investigation of permit compliance; more emission mishaps occurred in April 2017. The company announced that the plant was fully operational in January 2017 but, since then, it’s not clear whether plant has been producing much product.

COST: $225 to $250 million but likely higher (originally $220-$240 million)
JOB CREATION: 80 permanent, 450 construction — see Job Openings [LINK]
START-UP DATE: June 2016, originally March 2014
LIKELIHOOD: Likely — see Methodology

Ammonia 200 stpd
73,000 stpy
66,224 mtpy GROSS
Nitric Acid 600 stpd 198,637 mtpy GROSS
59,578 mtpy NET
Ammonium Nitrate
solution (ANSOL)
420 stpd 840 stpd
260,000 stpy
139,071 mtpy
Calcium Nitrate
72,000 stpy 65,317 mtpy
Units: stpd, stpy, mtpd, mtpy = short/metric tons per day/year.
[1] United States Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Yearbook, Nitrogen gives capacity in metric tons per year, calculated as “engineering design capacity adjusted for 340 days per year of effective production capability,” rounded to three significant digits. Source: most recent year, Table 4: Domestic Producers of Ammonia,
[2] Company does not publish capacity data; ANSOL capacity from news reports.
[3] TDEC, Division of Air Pollution Control, permit documents. Sources: linked below.
[4] Adjusted Capacity is in metric tons per year assuming operations for 365 days per year; based on permit data except ANSOL end product capacity, based on press reports; net NA capacity based on permit capacity less feedstock for CN and ANSOL. Note: full capacity output of NA, CN, and ANSOL is infeasible given ammonia capacity, and output will be constrained (see maths below). See Methodology.

FEEDSTOCK: Natural gas
END PRODUCTS: Ammonium Nitrate solution (ANSOL), Nitric Acid (US Nitrogen), Calcium Nitrate (Yara), and Carbon Dioxide (Praxair)

US Nitrogen broke ground on its ammonium nitrate solution (ANSOL) plant in February 2012, at which time it expected to start production in March 2014. From the outset, however, the project has been mired in snafus, creating serious delays and a cascade of regulatory and legal disputes.

The plant may be operational, but US Nitrogen’s apparent inability to comply with its permit regulations continues into 2018.

In January 2017, the company announced that it had reached “full production capacity,” almost three years behind schedule. This, however, appears to have been a highly misleading announcement.

Although US Nitrogen said that its new plant was “capable” of running at full production, documents filed with TDEC in January 2017 demonstrate that the plant had barely been running at all, and certainly not continuously.

US Nitrogen explained that “it is not anticipated that market conditions will allow us to operate the nitric acid plant enough days between now and April 29, 2017,” for the company to measure sufficient continuous days worth of operating data to meet its emissions reporting requirements. US Nitrogen therefore requested an extension of these reporting requirements to the end of December 2017, unless they get the plant running continuously before then. At the end of April 2017, TDEC refused to grant this permit extension and it isn’t clear what the next steps will be.

These delays, and the “market conditions” excuse, would imply a serious problem for any company: not only was the US Nitrogen plant years behind schedule but once it was finished they weren’t even running it. Without cashflow from product sales, there’s no way this investment could ever pay back its cost.

Presumably the January 2017 announcement was designed more to address US Nitrogen’s local public relations disasters than to provide meaningful information. Its description of the plant delivering ANSOL “consistently” might reasonably have been interpreted as meaning the plant was operating, which it clearly wasn’t:

US Nitrogen began operation of its nitric acid and liquid ammonium nitrate plants in April and May 2016, respectively … Ammonia plant operation began in late June 2016 and fully integrated operation of all operating units began in September 2016.

In late May 2016, the US Nitrogen facility began supplying batches of liquid ammonium nitrate solution, primarily made with purchased ammonia, to its parent company, Austin Powder …

With US Nitrogen now capable of full production, the facility is consistently delivering ANSOL to meet Austin Powders demand, and is also regularly supplying ammonia into the agricultural and industrial markets.
Greeneville Sun, US Nitrogen statement, 01/24/2017

In December 2015, news reports had described the plant as being “in the midst of a phased startup for months.” Despite notifying regulators that the ANSOL plant started up in May 2016 and the ammonia plant started up in June 2016, US Nitrogen still had so many operational problems that it didn’t describe the facility as being finished. The nitric acid plant appeared to be the biggest problem. In August 2016, the company had claimed that the facility would be operational by “the end of summer.” In January 2017, almost five years after the start of construction, the company finally announced that it had reached “full production capacity.”

Events at US Nitrogen suggest a culture that allows safety and maintenance standards to be compromised, or simply fails to understand or implement regulatory requirements.

The site failed numerous permit requirements during a June 2016 inspection; the company characterized these as “primarily paperwork issues,” although systematic problems were present, including leaking valves on ammonia holding tanks (steam condensate), indicating poor maintenance, and some ongoing design defects – later described as “equipment impracticability.”

In early August 2016, according to US Nitrogen’s “voluntary disclosure” filed with TDEC, “during certain periods of our repeated attempts to start up and continuously ‘operate’ our ammonia plant, the SCR was not ‘fully operational,'” in violation of the air quality permit (the SCR unit removes pollutants from the plant’s emissions).

Then, in late August 2016, the nitric acid plant was shut down, and operations were put on hold, with the site “under federal and state investigation.” Start-up attempts continued shortly afterwards, under observation by regulators; the state Director of Air Pollution Control ordered that “TDEC officials should be on site for any additional startup attempts of the nitric acid plant.”

As TDEC staff stated in September 2016, “it is typical for a plant to experience glitches during its initial startup that have to be identified and resolved before normal operation can be expected.” However, it is not typical for these glitches to continue for almost two years. These issues should have been fixed in a matter of months; the fact that they have not suggests long-term problems in the plant’s design.

This is still ongoing: in April 2017, another nitric acid release brought the regulators back to investigate the site, again. This time, caused by a broken gasket (“A ‘spot failure’ inside a heat exchanger ‘that sits inside the ammonium nitrate neutralizer system'”).

This has not been a smooth vertical integration for parent company, Austin Powder.

Many of the project’s issues were related to permit approvals and the local community’s persistent and ongoing resistance to the project. Most of the original permit challenges from 2012 to 2014 have been resolved, and the permit was renewed in October 2016, despite stiff opposition both from the community and also from the state. The full list of comments on the permit is available via TDEQ.

The project experienced serious issues with its engineering design and construction.

In February 2016, US Nitrogen filed a lawsuit against Weatherly, its engineering design and procurement contractor, in which it detailed some of the technical problems that plagued the project. US Nitrogen’s complaint, accessible via the US Court PACER system, alleged many things, practically all of which Weatherly denied. US Nitrogen’s allegations included:

• … Design failed to include adequate drainage plans for this type of greenfield project. This initial design failure has resulted in continued construction and design modifications to the project that continue to this day. Developing adequate drainage in the midst of principal construction has resulted in substantial costs and delays to the project.
• … it was critical that construction should begin on the foundations for the two Worthington BDC compressors prior to other construction activities. These compressors … required customized foundations that both ensured adequate support for their tremendous weight as well as the dynamic forces created by the reciprocating pistons in the compressors. These devices are arguably the most integral part of the process for making ammonium nitrate and represent the most complex pieces of machinery in the facility.
• In the fall of 2013, the compressor foundations were complete … Prior to January 4, 2014, the main bodies of the two compressors had been placed on the foundations. On January 4, 2014 there were identical failures to both concrete foundations. These failures rendered the foundations unsafe and unusable.
• … The design defects concerned the use of outdated methodology, a significant lack of rebar support in the base and the piers of the foundation, quality control issues that should have been identified through inspection … problems with spacing and edge distances in places where the design would have permitted placement in more secure locations, inadequate rebar around the anchor bolts, and a failure to use design practices that would ensure an anticipated service life commensurate with new construction.
• Design defects included but were not limited to: a. pipes which did not meet; b. pipe hangers attached incorrectly or designed without an anchor point; c. pipe fittings or pipes that terminated in concrete; d. steel beams that did not meet or provide proper support; e. missing or insufficient concrete joints; and f. improper soil testing and compaction.
• Suspending construction … was not a feasible option for US Nitrogen. At significant expense, and causing a significant delay of at least five months, US Nitrogen removed the defective work, re-designed the compressor foundations, and replaced the compressor foundations …
• US Nitrogen has incurred in excess of Thirty Million Dollars ($30,000,000.00) in additional expenses as a direct result of repairing problems and correcting unsuitable designs …

It is likely that nothing will come from this lawsuit in any hurry; the discovery deadline was set for October 2016.

The other issues surrounding US Nitrogen have been, frankly, too many to enumerate, but they include:

  • Water supply plans: could trigger triggered a lawsuit from the local water utility in August 2014, apparently settled in September 2015.
  • Air permit: appealed (no link available), July 2014.
  • Water permits: NPDES permit appealed and ARAP appealed twice, July 2014.
  • Right of way permit for water pipeline: denied by TDOT, June 2014, before being approved, August 2014.
  • TDEC’s Water Quality Criteria: challenged by environmental groups through the EPA, June 2014 (potentially rendering all US Nitrogen’s water permits void).
  • Site zoning: challenged in a lawsuit heard in October 2014, and resolved in March 2015.
  • Land purchase: potential for litigation amid various ongoing accusations of fraud, bribery, perjury, corruption, and general abuse of office in September 2013 (apparently arising when the chairman, now retired, of the local utility district was supposed to be negotiating a price for the sale of public water, but instead negotiated the sale of personal land on the banks of the Nolichucky River). This one is still live: there have been grand jury hearings, and a corporate denial in November 2015.
  • And finally: in July 2014, local officials of the Greene County Industrial Development Board sparked international outrage by arresting an individual at an open meeting who dared to ask them to speak up. The Tennessee Open Records Counsel was flooded with public complaints, which were passed on to the county attorney. This incident also sparked a lawsuit in July 2015.
  • And finally: in September 2014, the Save the Nolichucky organization filed suit against US Nitrogen and the Industrial Development Board of Greeneville and Greene County (IDB), in an attempt to stop construction on the controversial water pipelines.
  • And finally: in September 2014, another new lawsuit was filed, this time against TDOT, alleging that it was against state law to grant right of way for any entity other than a public utility.
  • And finally: in October 2014, a number of residents secured a restraining order to stop US Nitrogen from trespassing – although US Nitrogen claims it hadn’t and didn’t need to enter their properties to build the pipeline.
  • And finally: in October 2014, these claims of trespass were augmented after the death of a walking horse, which, naturally, led to another lawsuit, still pending as far as I’m aware.

Image: Save The Nolichucky, used with permission
Image: Save The Nolichucky, used with permission
A large number of the problems facing US Nitrogen involved its plans to build a 12-mile dual pipeline, at a cost of “approximately $130,000 per mile.” The pipeline would take water from and discharge effluent into the Nolichucky River, crossing 20 streams on its way. This replaced the original plan, which would have involved paying to upgrade the local utility’s infrastructure as well as paying for water supply. It seems that US Nitrogen solved this issue by developing a “split flow” plan for the plant’s water requirements, combining both the original plan to use the Town of Mosheim’s Lick Creek wastewater treatment plant as well as the double-pipeline, for which it received the final permits from the Tennessee Valley Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in September 2014.

US Nitrogen’s “state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly” plant sits on 50 acres, within a 450-acre tract, near Midway, in rural Greene County, Tennessee.

The greenfield project consists of two ammonia plants each with a capacity of 100 short tons per day (stpd), a Weatherly nitric acid (NA) plant with capacity 600 stpd, and an ammonium nitrate solution (ANSOL) plant with capacity 840 stpd. Actual production of ANSOL will, however, be constrained by the amount of ammonia the plant can produce (200 stpd of ammonia is not enough to make 840 stpd of ANSOL on a continuous basis; the company’s publicized ANSOL production rate of 420 stpd is more realistic).

The ammonia plants are not new builds, but old units that US Nitrogen has refurbished.

US Nitrogen altered and expanded its plans a number of times, adding to the complexity of the issues facing the project. The most significant additions to the site were a calcium nitrate (CN) plant, to be owned and operated by Yara, and a 90,000 stpy carbon dioxide (CO2) liquefaction plant, whose owner and operator had not been decided when the permits were issued.

In April 2016, Praxair announced “a long-term agreement to purchase by-product carbon dioxide from US Nitrogen,” and plans to “build, own and operate [the] carbon dioxide purification and liquefaction facility … [to] produce beverage-quality liquid carbon dioxide,” for start-up in late 2017. Soon thereafter, Praxair began collecting local tax incentives for the project. In September 2016, TDEC extended the deadline for construction of the CO2 plant to the end of 2017.

Yara’s 72,000 stpy CN plant will purchase its nitric acid feedstock from US Nitrogen and limestone “from nearby quarries,” the latter delivered by “a maximum of three trucks per day.” CN solution, the finished product, will be shipped out by a maximum of “10 tankers per day.” According to initial permits, the plant’s continuous process will consume up to 2.8 short tons (5,600 pounds) of milled limestone and 3.5 short tons (7,006 pounds) of nitric acid every hour – however, as of August 2016, construction has not begun and permit modifications may well follow. In September 2016, TDEC extended the deadline for construction of the CN plant to the end of 2018.

US Nitrogen’s air permits reflect the project’s torturous planning process: the initial air permit application was submitted in June 2011, revised in August 2011, approved in January 2012, extended in May 2013, extended again in December 2013, revised in June 2014, and revised again in July 2015. The air permit caps emissions at 215,044 stpy of greenhouse gases (CO2e) and 95.26 stpy of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

US Nitrogen’s permits incorporate the Yara and CO2 plants because “from a regulatory standpoint, they are likely considered a single ‘stationary source.'” The addition of the Yara plant increased site-wide emissions somewhat but the CO2 plant causes “a reduction of approximately 80%” of the (previously approved) CO2 emissions from the ammonia plant. Ammonia and VOC emission increased, compared to the previous permit, “due to increased use of natural gas plus … new information from the catalyst manufacturer and the design engineer.” US Nitrogen gave no reason why these fundamental design details were changed so far into the construction phase, nor any indication that they won’t request still more changes in due course.

Regarding possible future modifications of the permits, the shortfall between permitted ammonia capacity and permitted ANSOL capacity is noteworthy. The site can not produce enough ammonia to run both the CN plant and the ANSOL plant at full, permitted capacity, so it would not surprise me if another air permit modification was coming around the corner: a ~75% expansion of the ammonia lines, to roughly 127,000 stpy, would do the trick (see the math below).

US Nitrogen’s end product, ANSOL, a concentrated solution of ammonium nitrate in water, will be shipped to Austin Powder’s “manufacturing sites in Ohio and elsewhere,” where it will be used to manufacture blasting agents for the industrial explosives market. ANSOL is stored and shipped in “specially designed trucks” as a hot liquid. Depending on the strength of the solution, “hot” means a temperature of (for example) more than 225°F or 135 to 140°C. The company estimates that “30-40 truckloads per day will leave the plant.”

MATH: US Nitrogen’s ammonia (NH3) feedstock consumption
One ton ANSOL requires 0.80 tons NA and 0.22 tons NH3.
One ton NA requires 0.29 tons NH3.

ANSOL production: 260,000 stpy
NA required for ANSOL (x0.80) = 208,000 stpy
… and NH3 required for NA (x0.29) = 60,320 stpy
NH3 required for ANSOL (x0.22 ) = 57,200 stpy
… so total NH3 required for ANSOL = 117,520 stpy (60,320 + 57,200)

CN production: 72,000 stpy
NA input rate given as 7,006 pounds per hour = 30,686 stpy
… and NH3 required for NA (x0.29) = 8,899 stpy

Total site NH3 requirement (US Nitrogen + Yara) = 126,419 stpy (117,520 + 8,899)
Permitted site NH3 capacity = 73,000 stpy

A ~75% expansion of the ammonia lines would therefore be required for all on-site plants to operate at permitted capacity. However, even this might underestimate the installed ANSOL capacity, as the 840 short tons per day capacity plant is permitted for 260,000 short tons per year. Operating for 365 days per year, an 840 stpd plant would produce 306,600 stpy, a ~20% expansion above the currently permitted ANSOL capacity and a ~100% expansion above the currently permitted ammonia capacity.

View larger map with all ammonia plants.

ADDRESS: 471 Pottertown Road, Midway, TN 37809, United States



  • USGS: Minerals Yearbook, Nitrogen [RECENT / ARCHIVE]
  • Air Permitting: TDEC, Division of Air Pollution Control: US Nitrogen, LLC permit documents [LINK]
  • Water Permitting: TDEC, Department of Water Resources: US Nitrogen, LLC permit documents [LINK]
  • Legal Proceedings: Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) [LINK, registration required]


  • 04/10/2018: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Officials Pledge To Work With Community [LINK]
  • 01/13/2018: Greeneville Sun: State Extends Deadline For US Nitrogen Report [LINK]
  • 12/09/2017: Greeneville Sun: Trust Between US Nitrogen, Local Government And Public Needs Restoration [LINK]
  • 12/08/2017: Greeneville Sun: Report Highlights Deficiencies At US Nitrogen [LINK]
  • 11/13/2017: Greeneville Sun: County Commissioner Hears US Nitrogen Concerns [LINK]
  • 10/07/2017: Greeneville Sun: More Incidents Reported At US Nitrogen [LINK]
  • 05/03/2017: Greeneville Sun: State Denies US Nitrogen Request For Testing Extension [LINK]
  • 04/26/2017: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen: Faulty Gasket Caused Vapor Release [LINK]
  • 04/20/2017: Greeneville Sun: Nitric Acid Release At US Nitrogen Under Investigation [LINK]
  • 04/19/2017: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Plant Released Nitric Acid Vapors; Emergency Officials Respond [LINK]
  • 04/15/2017: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Seeking Emissions Monitoring Deadline Extensions [LINK]
  • 03/04/2017: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Says It’s At ‘Full Production Capability,’ Despite Startup Problems [LINK]
  • 01/26/2017: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Reaches ‘Full Production Capacity’ [LINK]
  • 09/10/2016: Greeneville Sun: TDEC Investigating As US Nitrogen Continues Startup [LINK]
  • 08/30/2016: 22 News WWLP: U.S. Nitrogen plant in Tennessee under investigation, operations on hold [LINK]
  • 08/27/2016: Greeneville Sun: TDEC Is Reviewing Emissions Incidents At US Nitrogen Plant [LINK]
  • 08/06/2016: Greeneville Sun: Regulators: US Nitrogen Correcting ‘Minor’ Deficiencies [LINK]
  • 06/16/2016: WJHL: State seeks input on US Nitrogen permit renewal [LINK]
  • 06/10/2016: Greeneville Sun: Speakers Oppose Permit Renewal [LINK]
  • 06/09/2016: Greeneville Sun: IDB Offers Tax Abatement For US Nitrogen Partner Company [LINK]
  • 04/30/2016: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Sues Engineering Firm [LINK]
  • 04/19/2016: Praxiar press release: Praxair Signs Long-Term Agreement to Source Carbon Dioxide in the U.S. [LINK]
  • 12/24/2015: Greeneville Sun: New Plant Manager In For US Nitrogen [LINK]
  • 11/20/2015: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen ‘Vehemently’ Denies Improper Actions About Property [LINK]
  • 09/09/2015: Greeneville Sun: IDB Approves US Nitrogen Settlement Agreement [LINK]
  • 07/24/2015: Greeneville Sun: Overholt Files $10.8M Lawsuit Against Officials [LINK]
  • 07/22/2015: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen, Old Knox Discussing Settlement [LINK]
  • 06/01/2015: Nolichucky Guardian: $2.5M Lawsuit Filed Against US Nitrogen & IDB [LINK]
  • 05/23/2015: Greeneville Sun: Chancellor Dismisses Suit Against County Government [LINK]
  • 03/25/2015: Greeneville Sun: Court Upholds US Nitrogen Zoning [LINK]
  • 10/21/2014: Greeneville Sun: Lawsuit Blames US Nitrogen Pipeline Work For Horse’s Death [LINK]
  • 10/18/2014: Greeneville Sun: Attorneys In New Lawsuit Reach Agreement About Avoiding ‘Trespassing’ In Work On USN/IDB Pipeline [LINK]
  • 10/09/2014: Greeneville Sun: Controversial Pipeline Is In [LINK]
  • 09/30/2014: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Granted Last Permit [LINK]
  • 09/27/2014: Greeneville Sun: New Legal Thrust In US Nitrogen Battle [LINK]
  • 09/16/2014: Greeneville Sun: Another Lawsuit Filed Against US Nitrogen And IDB [LINK]
  • 08/29/2014: Greeneville Sun: Lawsuit Filed Against IDB, US Nitrogen [LINK]
  • 08/02/2014: Greeneville Sun: TDOT Issues Pipeline Permit [LINK]
  • 07/23/2014: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen, Old Knox Make Progress In Water Talks [LINK]
  • 07/23/2014: Knoxville News Sentinel: Negotiations: Controversial pipeline would be owned, monitored by utility [LINK]
  • 07/23/2014: Greeneville Sun: Old Knox, US Nitrogen Now Negotiating On A Water Deal [LINK]
  • 07/21/2014: Daily Mail: Outrage as 76-year-old man is ARRESTED at town hall meeting for asking board members to speak louder [LINK]
  • 06/27/2014: Tennessee Clean Water Network press release: Tennessee Citizens Groups Fight TDEC’s Proposed Rules on Water Quality Criteria [LINK]
  • 06/13/2014: TDOT denies right-of-way to Greene County U.S. Nitrogen plant [LINK]
  • 05/02/2014: Greeneville Sun: Comment Period For US Nitrogen Permits Extended [LINK]
  • 02/04/2014: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Asks To Get Water Out Of The Nolichucky River [LINK]
  • 03/01/2012: Chematur Technologies press release: New contract for Weatherly inc [LINK]
  • 02/18/2012: Greeneville Sun: US Nitrogen Breaks Ground For $220-Million Plant [LINK]
  • 02/21/2011: Greeneville Sun: Commission To Consider US Nitrogen, LLC Plant [LINK]


  1. Roberta Drake says:

    We don’t want US Nitro, Austin Powder, Yara or any other plant in East Tennessee to come in here and pollute the Nolichucky River and destroy this region. Shame on you demons. Your day is coming….

  2. Bambi Gullatta says:

    Do not allow US Nitrogen / Austin Powder to open here! They have ruined enough area’s! We do not want the pollution! Or the health risk! A few jobs is not worth their lies!

  3. Diane McCarter says:

    This is a grave mistake, allowing these people to slip in here under a cloak of secrecy. Why all the secrecy, who us YARA. Why weren’t all people living in all counties,, using or bordering the Nolichucky notified? This company has had many, many problems and fines. Their ties with Lebanon and Muammar al-Gaddafi is extremely troubling to me. google YARA, check out all the lawsuits and payoffs. Smells like a you’re being placed in an extremely dangerous position, for a few jobs! Beware!

  4. Katrina Brinkley says:

    I’m a ‘Neighbor’ of USN, and apparently, Yara, and the other proposed factory to be brought in… I STRONGLY OPPOSE these companies coming into MY NEIGHBORHOOD and polluting my air, my water, my land & my life… Not to mention endangering the lives of my family, my neighbors & my friends… We the people of Midway were not even given the opportunity to have a say in this intrusion on our beautiful home… You have come in here in taken our beauty away, run off our wildlife animals my child & grandchildren loved to watch… You are all nothing but liars & have nothing but the mighty dollar in sight… NOT THE WELL BEING NOR CONCERNS FOR WE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MADE THIS HOME FOR MANY GENERATIONS…. And your so called events that we were all invited to. We weren’t … Your trucks drove thru my dead end road, didn’t stop once except to turn around to leave back out… You never intended for the local population to know a fact one nor be informed enough to tell you, NO !!! I say ” GO AWAY ! WE DON’T WANT YOU HERE ! NOT ALL OF US CAN BE BOUGHT WITH YOUR DIRTY MONEY ! WE LOVE OUR HOMES & OUR LAND & COUNTY… WE DO NOT LIKE YOU ! LEAVE OUR COUNTY ALONE OR BUILD IT IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD LIKE YOU ARE IN MINE ! AND TELL YOUR FAMILY IT IS SAFE & OKAY… THEY WOULD NOT BUY THE LIES EITHER… “

  5. Connie says:

    Now that Industrial Developmental Board has gotten the property back from US Nitrogen the taxpayers are liable for the clean up if there is an explosion. Also there has not been and Environmental Impact Statement submitted to my knowledge which is the law…check out this web link to see the actual members of the IDB listed by the Greene County Partnership website….Election time this year and I hope the communities exercise their right to vote. If they can buy the water from Old Knox Utility then they should have to do that not get free water from the Nolichucky and then pollute it.

  6. Maggie Flint says:

    Many citizens in Greene County oppose this plant being located there, as do many of us who live in neighboring counties. We do not need another source of pollution to our air and water in Northeast Tennessee. This company has been underhanded and not forthcoming from the beginning. The people of this region deserve to know the truth about the handful of dirty jobs that will be bought at the cost of our air and our water and that of our children. We have roots here that run deep and we do not want US Nitrogen or Austin Powder here.

  7. Kayleigh Peralez says:

    As I see, many of others agree with me, my family, and my friends. We have a cabin that is literally right beside the Nolichucky River. We are downstream about two miles from the intake and outfall that US Nitrogen/Austin Powder will be putting into the river. The meetings that have been held exposed the fact that Ammonia and Nitrate would both be put into OUR river, ONE of the TWO rivers that are not polluted, YET! What they didn’t say is that other hazardous chemicals will also be put in the river. The pollution that may be put into this river will not affect us, but it will affect our children, our grand children, their grand children, and our future generations. We need all the help we can get to make sure that this horrid operation does not have OUR water polluted!!!!!

  8. Ms Park Overall says:

    Mr. Trevor Brown:
    Thank you for your concise essay. We are the ones appealing the air and WATER with a consultant out of CO and with a skilled and reputable lawyer that knows how deal in environmental law. Haslam slammed this in and the poor continue to vote against their own best interest. Legally all permits violate Federal Law here. One of the most troubling issues is the Nolichucky is a very small river and highly damaged by Nuclear Fuel Services, Erwin, TN. Sierra tested the water for 100 miles and found bomb grade uraniums….So much for depending on the kindness of Yankee strangers.
    In the press the amount of water to be used is thrown around at 1.45 million galls a day to 1.9. Their paperwork, however, says 2.8. That is quite a discrepancy….They are going to roll over wetlands and highly valuable archeological digs. That’s in their own paperwork. And we have fought tenaciously. Time will tell if corruption rules the day. Thank you again, for your interest in this tragic matter.

    • Trevor Brown says:

      Thank you Park. I’ll be looking out for how your appeal turns out. I know democracy can be messy, but it’s not supposed to be this messy.

      I read all the files and have to say that you and the team did a thorough job, both in the comment period and in the appeals. One discrepancy that I still don’t understand is why the air permit for the Yara CN plant dismissed any kind of carbon dioxide capture technology, based solely on the fact that building a pipeline to an oil field for EOR would be prohibitively expensive (this is in the BACT section). There’s a CO2 liquefaction plant on site, for goodness sake – why would anyone talk about piping it miles away? Anyway.

      I’m sure this story will continue to evolve in unexpected ways, and I wish you the best for your part in that.


  9. Robin Britton says:

    We don’t want US Nitrogen in Greene County! Poisoning our beautiful river and town! Money don’t buy everyone so go back where you came from!

    • Trevor Brown says:

      Hi Park,

      EOR stands for “enhanced oil recovery” – meaning that, in order to get more crude oil out of an old oil well, one that isn’t producing as much oil as it used to, they pump carbon dioxide (CO2) down into the ground, and the well starts producing more oil again.

      See the US DOE’s kinda technical page here.
      Or see the wiki page here.

      The idea is that EOR will sequester the CO2, meaning that it will be stored underground for ever, not in the atmosphere, and simultaneously pushes more of the oil up so that the unproductive oil well becomes productive again.

      From an environmental point of view, there’s a big debate about how useful this action is: pumping CO2 underground doesn’t really help solve the big problems because it allows you to keep extracting oil. But that’s exactly why this environmental technology has been allowed to prosper – it’s a compromise that doesn’t change the status quo. The tremendous amount of money that people have put into developing EOR and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies could have been directed at projects that were actually sustainable – but it wasn’t.

      Additionally, there are questions about whether this CO2 storage is in fact permanent. And then there’s the issue of it causing earthquakes, especially when you pump too much or do it in a place that has fault lines already. But people don’t like to talk about these little problems …

  10. Lois Gilbert says:

    I don’t need. USN less than a quarter. mile from my home!I don’t need a county. government that doesn’t give voice to my needs.Air and Water will be negatively affected, and sitting on a fault line built on top of barrels of TOXIC waste!

  11. Briggs gilliam says:

    When do we stop choosing economics over clean air and water? I live 3/miles from the Noli. I also boat there and know its beauty. Let’s not spoil this regional treasure.

  12. Lloyd Seaton says:

    This environmental diaster was brought in on the people of Greene County in one of the slimest ways possible by former county mayor Alan Broyles for 80 jobs. This plant is within a mile of 900 high school students. It is within 1 1/4 of an elementary school. It is within 1 1/4 miles of an elementary school. Why in heavens name would anyone risk these kids lives for 80 jobs. I say move the freak show to the farm of former county major Alan Broyles.

  13. Park Overall says:

    Trevor I don’t know where you are getting the idea that the lawsuits are all but resolved? None of them are resolved. Thanks, Park.

  14. David says:

    I just cant believe all of this hypocritical nonsense about not in my backyard. nobody was complaining about the 250 million the spent on this site with the construction and taxes. And most of the people complaining don’t even know that there daily lives revolve around the products made right here at this facility. As long as there are people complaining about industry coming into Greene county we will be a community ran by the temporary agencies which keep people in temporary positions with low wages and no future. There was a time when Virginia wouldn’t allow Eastman chemical to be built there and it was moved to Kingsport Tennessee and you see how that turned out.

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