Rentech submits permit applications for construction

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 16, 2010

NATCHEZ — Before Rentech can break ground on its Adams County plant, it must acquire four major environmental permits for construction.

Rentech Director of Project Development Dennis C. Corn was in town Thursday to update city and county officials on the company’s progress in filing permit applications.

Last month, Rentech submitted its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit application to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The permit controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters.

Rentech will also submit two additional permit applications to MDEQ — Prevention of Significant Deterioration/New Source Review, which controls air pollution, and stormwater control. Corn said the PSR/NSR permit application will be ready for submission by the end of June.

“(The stormwater permit) must be filed within 30 days of construction,” Corn said.

Last but not least, Rentech will submit a Section 10 and Section 404 permit application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both permits assess the impact the plant could have on the Mississippi River and surrounding wetlands.

“We plan to have this application filed between now and the end of June,” Corn said.

Corn said permit approval could take between six months to a year, depending on reviews and public hearings.

“If everything lines up right, we’ll get the permits within a year time period, and still keep our mid-next year target for construction,” Corn said.

Rentech plans to construct its coal-to-liquid fuel plant at the former International Paper site in 2011, and begin operation in 2014.

Corn said during the three-construction phase, Rentech will then submitting permit applications for operation.

Corn is scheduled to leave Natchez today, and plans to meet with representatives the newly formed economic development entity Natchez, Inc.