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October 1, 2022

8/13/2015 5:01:00 PM
Comments sought to amend air quality permit
The Tiller plant, now owned by Titan Lansing, is shown above.  The bottom access road empties onto 415th.
The Tiller plant, now owned by Titan Lansing, is shown above.  The bottom access road empties onto 415th.

The state pollution control agency is accepting public comment until August 28;  on an amended air quality permit for Titan Lansing, the Kansas-based company that recently took ownership of Tiller Sand Processing Plant, in North Branch.

The PCA decision to issue the air quality permit is “tentative,” according to the notice informing the public of the comment period for the application under review from Titan Lansing Transloading LLC.

Tiller Sand & Gravel opened the fracking sand processing plant in January 2013.   The facility was acquired by Titan Lansing, in November 2014.   The facility takes washed gravel/sand and stockpiles it for screening into finer silica sand particles and then transloads the finely-grained product for delivery by rail and by truck to outstate hydraulic fracking sites.  

The very fine particles of silica sand  are regulated as to density of dust allowed in the air around the North Branch plant and its multiple silos.  There are conditions in the permit for monitoring “opacity” in the air and for moisture content to be maintained to manage the fine particles.  

In its city permit, Titan is allowed to store up to 80,000 cubic yards of sand on the site.

The plant is advised in the permit conditions released in the PCA review notice to have paved roads into and internally on-site.

County Soil and Water Conservation District officials are required to design windbreak areas to reduce airborne particles.

The permit pending for Titan Lansing will not authorize any emissions increases from the Tiller operations standards.  

A recent state enforcement action resulted in the removal of the electrical generator from the site and because of this, the proposed new permit no longer requires performance testing or limits for this equipment.

Also, the pending permit restricts the sand dryer to solely natural gas as its fuel source.  

The facility responded to state requests to eliminate the capability of burning fuel oil in the dual-fuel dryer.  This means sulfur dioxide related requirements for burning oil were also deleted in the new permit.  

The new permit does still address the natural gas emission levels allowable for nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide at the dryer.
Trucks coming and going and rail cars must be enclosed (covered).  

A daily count is required to be kept.  

Paved streets will be swept weekly.  

There is a 15 mph speed allowed on the facility streets.

Monitoring and performance tests are also required of Titan Lansing operators and a host of reports are part of requirements in the proposed permit as well.  

The full tentative permit can be viewed on-line at the MN Pollution Control Agency website, look under Public Notices.

Anybody who submits comments on the pending permit action can request a public hearing or a contested case hearing or suggest additional terms for the permit.

To hold a hearing-- the PCA needs something on which to base this-- a specific relief requested or an issue that the public feels needs resolution.  Any permit conditions the public seeks to  revise should be referenced specifically in your comments.

Public comment runs through Aug. 28.

The air quality permit section, industrial division manager can be contacted at 651-757-2726.

To submit written comments,  mail to:  Andrew Luberda  Air Quality Permits Section Industrial Division MN Pollution Control Agency  520 Lafeyette Road North, St Paul MN 55155  or you can FAX comments to 651-296-8717.

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