Chemical plant

A sandbox used during the groundbreaking ceremony for the MGC Pure Chemicals America plant sits at the plant’s site location in the 4500 block of Roy J. Smith Drive in Killeen, located in the Killeen Business Park, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017.

MGC Pure Chemicals America is proceeding with its plans to build a controversial chemical plant in Killeen.

MGC — a Japan-based company that produces superpure hydrogen peroxide — has filed an application for a permit, according to Andrew Keese, a spokesman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The company is seeking authorization to purify, handle and store hydrogen peroxide. There are several restrictions that come with the permit. Among them are:

1) Emission points associated with the facilities must be at least 100 feet away from any recreational area or residence.

2) New emissions should not be emitted in a quantity greater than five tons per year.

3) The facilities must be located at least 300 feet from the nearest property line, and 600 feet from any off-plant residence or recreational area.

MGC has said in the past that its plant will give off no intentional emissions.

In addition to these regulations, the storage containers and tank must be located at least 500 feet from any recreational area or residence. The true vapor pressure must have less than 11 pounds per square inch at the maximum storage temperature.

Before construction begins, tanks of 25,000 gallons or greater capacity must be registered.

MGC must provide sufficient information, including but not limited to a process description, process flow diagram, emission calculations and summary of emissions, an explanation on how the rules are met and other pertinent information regarding applicable state and federal requirements, to demonstrate that the facility meets the general requirements and the specific technical requirements. TCEQ then uses this information to determine if the facility meets the technical requirements.

“Each PBR requested in the application...contains specific construction and operating requirements, requires the use of appropriate control measures, and is promulgated to be in compliance with applicable state and federal standards,” Keese said. “Therefore, if a facility is operated in accordance with the requirements of these (permits), emissions from the plant will be protective of human health and the environment.”

It typically takes TCEQ staff about 45 days to process the permit request, Keese said.

MGC’s plant will be built in the Killeen Industrial Park off Twin Creek Drive. Superpure hydrogen peroxide is a cleaning chemical used in the semiconductor industry.

That type of product is used to produce several everyday items, such as camera lenses on phones and tablets. MGC is set to create 28 new jobs with an average annual salary of $66,000 over the next five years, according to the Killeen EDC.

Killeen residents have raised safety concerns about the plant, and more than 100 of them attended a Sept. 28 community meeting on the subject.

Concern had risen after a fire at the Arkema plant in Crosby. The Houston-area chemical plant, which uses hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals, caught fire after floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey engulfed the plant’s two generators, knocking out power. A lack of refrigeration caused some chemical compounds to catch fire, according to news reports.

John Crutchfield, executive director of the Killeen Economic Development Corporation, said at the Sept. 28 meeting that construction of the plant would move forward as planned.

As of Oct. 7, the company had applied for just one permit with the city of Killeen, a land disturbance permit, which is a site work permit. On Nov. 1, the city received a building permit application from MGC, according to Killeen city spokeswoman Hilary Shine.

According to Keese, the permitting process must include a public forum in which the public has the right to voice support of, or opposition to, the plant. There has been no word yet when that forum will be.

254-501-7552 | sullivan@kdhnews.com

(1) comment

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

It appears that this plant is going to plow ahead regarding construction without bothering to give the city council an opportunity to voice any opinion of the viability of the proceedings.

Copy: 'John Crutchfield, executive director of the Killeen Economic Development Corporation, said at the Sept. 28 meeting that construction of the plant would move forward as planned.' End of copy.

Yep, 'Dam the torpedoes, full speed ahead'. I'm using this famous quotation as a reference. In other words, 'it does not matter what the 100 people who live in the proximity of the new plant, it will go ahead with construction.

Copy: 'MGC has said in the past that its plant will give off no intentional emissions.' End of copy.

'The plant will give off no intentional emissions'. Now that is a play on words if I ever heard, or saw in print words of this nature.

It is said that the lack of refrigeration caused the resultant fire and explosion of the Houston area plant. I would ask the question: 'could that happen here????' and see what answers you get.

Copy: 'The company is seeking authorization to purify, handle and store hydrogen peroxide. There are several restrictions that come with the permit. Among them are:'
Continuation of copy: '1) Emission points associated with the facilities must be at least 100 feet away from any recreational area or residence.'
Continuation of copy: '2) New emissions should not be emitted in a quantity greater than five tons per year.'
Continuation of copy: '3) The facilities must be located at least 300 feet from the nearest property line, and 600 feet from any off-plant residence or recreational area.' End of copy.

Somehow these 3 parameters are contradictory to each other – How can you have a facility that is required to be at least 300 feet from the nearest property line and then require emissions points to be located at least 100 foot away from any recreation or residence. That, to me anyways, says 'the facility is to be located a minimum of 600 feet from the facility property line, period, and it does not matter what the points of emissions are as they are to be located within the facility which is 'at least 600 feet from the physical extreme of the facility'.

I am going to ask once again 'if the KEDC is going to present this to the 'in session' city council meeting so as to get minutes and to ask that the present members of the KEDC 'excuse themselves' and not vote on this measure so as to not automatically get a quorum/majority of the city council votes. IE: Debbie Nash King, Juan Rivera, and Mayor Jose Segarra, so that the vote would be among the 5 remaining city council members minus of course the mayors vote in case of a tie, so that a simple, at least 3 out of the remaining 5 votes would be counted. Either that or I would suggest that a 'super majority' be required on this proposal. This I am going to suggest the city council move to eradicate the motions or proposals be modified so as to negate the sitting city council/mayor/city manager from voting on any and all KEDC actions and call for the city 'in session' activity's of the KEDC body be held to a vote.

This body, I feel, has become a 4 vote city council because of the activity's of the majority/forum vote in itself negates the remaining members from having any say and this I feel is verified by the voting records. Let the entire body of the tity council be free of any KEDC operations or negate the voting powers of the sitting council members who also sit on the KEDC. How about it city council members, do you want to bring this up before the city council as say 'new business' to get it before the minuted city council????

Here is a copy of:
copy: 'The Manufacturing Process The basic description of process from beginning to end includes the following: • Raw H2O2 is mixed with ultrapure water via automatic flow meters. • Blended mixture is processed through a series of filters to remove contaminants. • Ultrapure product is filled in to storage tanks for processing into packaging. • After Quality Analysis approval, ultrapure product is filled into appropriate container, Isotainer, which holds ~4,000 gals. • Isotainer is sampled, analyzed and once approved, shipped to customers. Excess Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) from processing is captured and reworked into finished product. Waste stream to city sewer is mostly water, which is treated for pH prior to discharge. An onsite treatment tank is used.' End of copy.

There is no mention of any process requiring the chemical, Sulfuric Acid, which I believe is used as an exothermic reaction, heat generation thus requiring the use of Refrigeration. This in turn is at least one of the properties that will cause an explosion due to the loss of refrigeration.

Copy: 'In addition to these regulations, the storage containers and tank must be located at least 500 feet from any recreational area or residence. The true vapor pressure must have less than 11 pounds per square inch at the maximum storage temperature.' End of copy.

See the previous article that says 'the facility proper is to be a minimum of 600 feet from any property line'.

Copy: 'According to Keese, the permitting process must include a public forum in which the public has the right to voice support of, or opposition to, the plant. There has been no word yet when that forum will be.' End of copy.

This should be called at the first opportunity of the 'in session' city council so that 'this doesn't fall through the crack' and this should be available 'in the very near future so that it may be brought up before the first permitting sequence.

Now I ask: 'What say you citizens of this city of Killeen????'


This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
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