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Air quality permit issued for Grand Forks fertilizer plant

The company planning a massive nitrogen fertilizer plant northwest of Grand Forks has cleared a final regulatory hurdle. The North Dakota Department of Health's air quality division issued a "permit to construct" to Northern Plains Nitrogen, the ...

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The company planning a massive nitrogen fertilizer plant northwest of Grand Forks has cleared a final regulatory hurdle.

The North Dakota Department of Health's air quality division issued a "permit to construct" to Northern Plains Nitrogen, the company announced Tuesday. Project manager Calvin Coey said in a news release that "all necessary permits have now been approved" for the $2 billion-plus project.

"We're pleased to have the support and approval from the city of Grand Forks and now the state of North Dakota," he said. "As NPN continues to develop, we will continue to work closely with our neighbors to ensure a cohesive and mutually beneficial relationship."

Developers are still pursuing financing for the plant and are hoping to start construction in the next one to two years, according to the release. NPN hopes to begin operations in 2018, according to its website.

The health department received just one public comment on the permit, Environmental Engineer Craig Thorstenson said. That letter of support came from the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors.

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"NPN and the city of Grand Forks are working closely together to ensure this plant technically meets or exceeds expectations for the safety and benefit of the region," according to the letter signed by EDC Board Chairman Dwight Thompson.

The permit shows that NPN plans to produce more than 2,400 tons of ammonia each day, along with a range of other products.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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