Owner of closed Louisiana fertilizer plant agrees to clean up 1 billion pounds of waste

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July 15 (UPI) — A Canadian company that owns a now-closed fertilizer plant in Louisiana has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty and process more than a billion pounds of hazardous waste to resolve allegations that it violated federal environmental laws, the Justice Department said.

The rule between PCS Nitrogen and the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality announced Thursday, and orders the company to clean up huge piles of so-called piles of phosphogypsum that were dumped on his Geismar facility.

Officials said the facility, which covers some 1,050 acres, produced phosphate products from the 1960s to 2018, creating large amounts of wastewater and selling materials called phosphogypsum.

These piles of phosphogypsum were deposited in large heaps, some over 100 acres wide and 200 feet high, on the facility. Then, from 2004 to 2012, PCS Nitrogen allowed another company to dispose of its hazardous waste directly or indirectly down its chimneys, which is in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act which governs solid waste disposal. and dangerous.

The plant was decommissioned in 2018, but regulations announced Thursday regulate its long-term closure, requiring PCS Nitrogen to be responsible for its “post-closure care” for the next 50 years, the EPA said in a statement. an information sheet on the deal, adding that it must pay $84 million to cover those costs within 30 days of the settlement’s effective date.

“This is a very significant result because the facility is located in a hurricane-prone area and the financial assurance obtained will protect ratepayers from paying future closure and cleanup costs,” said Larry Starfield, administrator. EPA’s Acting Office of Compliance and Enforcement Assistant. in A declaration.

Saskatoon-based Nutrien said the shutdown is largely complete and water treatment is underway.

“Nutrien has a long history of cooperation with state and federal authorities, and these settlements formally document the work Nutrien has done, and continues to do, in connection with the permanent closure of the phosphate processing facility and associated gypsum piles, including ongoing treatment of the sewage as needed,” he said in A declaration.

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