Agency seeks comment on Dakota Gasification’s urea project

Basin Electric Power Cooperative – April 4, 2014

The North Dakota Department of Health has opened a 30-day public comment period related to Dakota Gasification Company’s planned urea production facility at its Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, ND.

The Department of Health proposes to issue an Air Pollution Control Permit to Construct to Dakota Gas in accordance with the state’s air pollution control rules. The 30-day public comment period on the permit opened March 27 and ends April 26.

Dakota Gas plans to build a urea fertilizer production and carbon dioxide liquefaction facility at the Synfuels Plant. Urea, a granular fertilizer commonly used in agricultural applications, will mark the 10th product for the Synfuels Plant. Dakota Gas currently produces two other fertilizers, ammonia and ammonium sulfate (Dak Sul 45®).

Urea production requires anhydrous ammonia and carbon dioxide, both of which are produced at the Synfuels Plant. Urea has the highest nitrogen content of all solid fertilizers, but costs less to handle, store and transport than other nitrogen-based fertilizers.

According to Terry O’Clair, director of the Department of Health’s Division of Air Quality, preliminary evaluations made by department staff indicate that the project will comply with all applicable air pollution control rules and there will be no significant detrimental effects to air quality.

“Dispersion modeling for the facility indicates compliance with the State and National Ambient Air Quality Standards and compliance with the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) increments for all contaminants,” O’Clair stated in a public notice. “Based on the amount of emissions from the project and the distance from the project to the nearest PSD Class I area, any impacts on the Class I areas, including PSD Class I increment, are considered to be insignificant.”

Read the full air quality effects analysis and permit application.

Written comments can be submitted to the North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Air Quality, 918 E. Divide Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501-1947.

A public meeting regarding issuance of the permit will be held if the Department of Health determines a significant degree of public interest exists. Requests for a public meeting must be received in writing by the Department of Health before the end of the public comment period.

The Department of Health will take final action on the permit application within 30 days after the end of the public comment period.