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.