Possible US Nitrogen deal will prevent dumping in Nolichucky Riv

Possible US Nitrogen deal will prevent dumping in Nolichucky River

Posted:
Officials with the Old Knoxville Highway Water District say they may have struck a deal with US Nitrogen. Officials with the Old Knoxville Highway Water District say they may have struck a deal with US Nitrogen.
By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

GREENEVILLE (WATE) - Officials with the Old Knoxville Highway Water District say they may have struck a deal with US Nitrogen.

The company is building a plant in Greene County and has been planning to dump waste water into the Nolichucky River, which is something residents there are not happy about.

Previous story: Dozens rally to "Save the Nolichucky" from pollution at Greene Co. plant

Now those residents may have a small sigh of relief.

"It's a step in the right direction. It doesn't mean it's over," said Alex Martin, a member of a group fighting to 'Save the Nolichucky."

It has been an ongoing struggle between them and US Nitrogen.

Their fear all along has been the chemicals that will go back into the river from the waste water released by the plant.

"This corporation came into Greene County, and they told all of us that they would be using the Mosheim waste water treatment facility and that they would be getting their water from Old Knox Utility, and there wasn't a thing said about it. We were all absolutely fine with it," said Martin.

Now that original plan appears to be back on the table, according to Old Knoxville Highway Water District Board President Butch Shaw.

"We gave them the options that the board had approved and about an hour and a half later he called me back to say we had reached a deal with them," he said.

Shaw says the water board and US Nitrogen made a verbal agreement that US Nitrogen will foot the bill for a $3.2 million pipeline that will allow the water district to supply the plant with water, and the town of Mosheim will take over the sewage waste water.

"I think it will put our community back together. It will be good for not only our community but for our county and our city," said Shaw.

For many it is a step in the right direction, but they will not breathe easy until it is signed, sealed, delivered.

"It's not over until it's over and I won't believe it. I'll just say that's it's a big misunderstanding until it is in contract," said Martin.

6 News reached out to US Nitrogen about the deal. They released this statement:

"US Nitrogen is continuing informal discussions with Old Knoxville Highway Utility District about our requirements for both the consistent, high volume water supply needed for cooling at our facility and a treatment facility that can house the water that flows from our plant."

At this time, US Nitrogen has not received a formal proposal with rate structures from the Old Knoxville Highway Utility District. We are open to reviewing the formal proposal; however, we cannot agree to or adequately evaluate a partial proposal that would not satisfy both the water supply and outflow from the facility."

Based on prior discussions, an agreement with Old Knoxville Highway Utility District, Town of Mosheim and the Greeneville Water Commission would include a substantial amount of capital in required infrastructure upgrades and other concessions that would be borne by US Nitrogen.

US Nitrogen is continuing to pursue all viable options on the table."

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