US Nitrogen hasn’t publicly announced that its new ANSOL plant is operational, yet, but it has advised regulators that the plants have started up. Its reps are telling the local press that it will be operational by “the end of summer.”
In the meantime, the team is rectifying a newly-identified spate of permit violations and deficiencies – which is a little awkward, because regulators are presently considering its permit renewals, which met with great resistance from the local community during the public comment period, which had to be extended to late July because there was so much discontent.
Presumably, US Nitrogen’s lack of compliance has some bearing on pending permits.
According to documents filed by US Nitrogen with TDEC between April and July 2016, the nitric acid plant started up in April, the ammonium nitrate plant in May, and the ammonia plant in June 2016.
Unfortunately, in August 2016, US Nitrogen also filed with TDEC a voluntary notification of permit violations that had taken place throughout the start-up process: “during certain periods of our repeated attempts to start up and continuously ‘operate’ our ammonia plant, the SCR was not ‘fully operational.'”
This, I assume, means that the process to get the plant started was unnecessarily and illegally polluting.
On top of that, US Nitrogen had just failed a compliance evaluation inspection on multiple grounds.
While the company dismisses these compliance failures as being “primarily minor and primarily paperwork issues,” it seems to me that 99 minor problems plus 1 major problem still equals a major problem. “Paperwork issues” is corporate-speak for an inability or indisposition to count accurately.
These, and all the other snafus at US Nitrogen, are detailed in my Research Note for Greeneville, TN.