The grand SNAFU named US Nitrogen appears to have come to a temporary pause.
Despite starting up all the units over the last few months – nitric acid, ammonium nitrate, ammonia – the regulatory teams at state and federal levels overseeing US Nitrogen now appear to have come in and closed the site down, until they can enforce environmental and safety standards.
First, there were the previously mentioned failed permit requirements, in June 2016. Then there were the times when US Nitrogen didn’t operate the SCR unit appropriately, resulting in excess emissions (this, we now know, based on US Nitrogen’s voluntary disclosures, is called “equipment impracticability“). Finally, the plant was shut down with regulators on-site, watching and learning what would happen next.
I don’t have more information on what the regulators require, or any indication of likelihood that US Nitrogen will get its act together, but what information I have is in the Research Note for Greeneville, TN.