TDEC approves water and air permits for Greene County nitrogen p

TDEC approves water and air permits for Greene County nitrogen plant

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The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation approved three permits for the U.S. Nitrogen facility which includes one air permit and two water permits, one for intake and one for discharge. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation approved three permits for the U.S. Nitrogen facility which includes one air permit and two water permits, one for intake and one for discharge.
U.S. Nitrogen said the facility is compliant with state and federal environmental regulations. U.S. Nitrogen said the facility is compliant with state and federal environmental regulations.
By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

MIDWAY (WATE) - State environmental regulators have approved water and air permits for a nitrogen plant under construction in Greene County.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation approved three permits for the U.S. Nitrogen facility which includes one air permit and two water permits, one for intake and one for discharge.

The move comes after residents living near the Nolichucky River have been fighting for months to stop the plant from being able to use the river as a water source.

"They won the battle,” Hamblen County resident Alex Martin said. “They did not win the war. This is not over and this is far from over."

According to its application with TDEC, the plant will pump water with some ammonia back into the river.

"It's a big quantity of water that they're trying to pull out,” Martin said. “They try to say that there's not going to be an environmental impact but any environmental impact to me is unacceptable. The river where I'm from supplies everything. People have wells. People drink from that water."

U.S. Nitrogen said the facility is compliant with state and federal environmental regulations.

TDEC said the plant will be required to monitor air and wastewater and report it to TDEC.

TDEC will also perform unannounced inspections to make sure the facility is following the permit limits.

"They wouldn't have gotten approved if they weren't doing things right," Midway resident Jennifer Goodwin said.

Goodwin’s husband Russell works as an equipment manager at the plant and the family lives just up the road from the facility.

Goodwin said she believes the plant will help the local economy by bringing in new jobs.

U.S. Nitrogen said the plant will bring in up to 80 permanent jobs and 300 construction jobs.

"I just really think people jump to conclusions about them just because of their name all in itself," Goodwin said.

But some residents like Martin said they worry about the long term effects on the environment and the river.

Martin said they plan to hire an attorney to appeal the water permits.

TDEC said anyone who participated in the public comment period can file an appeal within 30 days of the permits being issued.

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