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Aug 132010

From Green Right Now Reports

A Florida fertilizer manufacturer will invest $12 million to reduce and manage hazardous wastes at its Plant City phosphoric acid and ammoniated fertilizer manufacturing facility in the first case settled under the Environmental Protection Agency’s national enforcement push into the mining and mineral processing industries.

CF Industries will pay a civil penalty of $701,500, accelerate $55 million of funding for future closure, maintenance and monitoring activities, and provide $163.5 million in financial guarantees to assure appropriate closure and long-term care of the facility.

CF Industries, a manufacturer of phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers based in Deerfield, Illinois, operates a 400-acre phosphogypsum stack and associated ponds for storing mineral processing wastes from its phosphoric acid production operations in Plant City. The facility converts the phosphate concentrate produced at the company’s Hardee County, Florida operation into approximately 2.1 million tons of phosphate fertilizer each year.

Between December 2004 and January 2005, inspectors from the EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection discovered that CF Industries was treating, storing and disposing of hazardous wastes in the stack and ponds without a permit and was failing to meet land disposal restrictions required under RCRA. The manufacturer also had failed provide adequate financial assurance for closure, long-term care and third-party liability for its facility.

As part of the settlement agreement, CFI has implemented comprehensive waste containment and spill prevention measures to better manage its wastes. The company also has reconfigured scrubbers to eliminate all corrosive fertilizer wastewaters and reduce ammonia releases to the environment, and has constructed a treatment system for hazardous wastes generated in fertilizer operations.

CFI has completed the full site investigation required under the settlement to assess the degree of environmental contamination emanating from the stacks and ponds, and will take steps to remove and treat contaminated soils.