Enforcement

Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC Information Air Act Settlement

(WASHINGTON, DC - October 5, 2009) Mosaic Fertilizer will spend approximately $30 million on air pollution controls that are expected to eliminate harmful emissions from sulfuric acid production plants in Uncle Sam, La., and Mulberry, Fla., the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced. The company will also pay a civil penalty of $2.4 million to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations.

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Overview of Company and Location of Facilities

Mosaic is the world's leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, both of which are used in the manufacturing of fertilizer. Mosaic's facility in Uncle Sam, Louisiana, is one of its principle phosphate production facilities and produces phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrofluosilicic acid, and silicon tetra fluoride.

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Violations

The Uncle Sam facility includes three sulfuric acid plants or "trains," designated as the A Train, D Train, and E Train. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Louisiana allege in the complaint that Mosaic made modifications to the A and D Trains. The facility's modifications caused significant increases in sulfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfuric acid mist. The facility made these modifications without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment in violation of:

  • Clean Air Act (CAA) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) provisions, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7470-7492
  • Louisiana Air Control Commission (LAC) Implementation Plan (State Implementation Plan (SIP))
  • Provisions of the CAA New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), 42 U.S.C. § 7411.

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Injunctive Relief and Environmental Mitigation Projects

Mosaic has agreed to address the alleged violations by:

  • installing the best available control levels on the D Train
  • improving the existing dual absorption system
  • installing the cutting edge Amine Based Regenerative Gas Absorption System (Cansolv on the A Train)
  • installing continuous emission rate monitoring systems (CERMS) on the A and D Trains to measure its SO2 emissions.

Mosaic is also going to do an environmental mitigation project which will entail upgrading the catalyst on the E Train to lower emissions well below its currently permitted level. In addition, Mosaic has decided for independent business reasons to voluntarily close a sulfuric acid plant in Mulberry, Florida.

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Pollutant Reductions

This settlement results in a total reduction of at least 7,612 tons of SO2 and 4.5 tons of sulfuric acid mist annually.

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Health and Environmental Effects

This settlement will reduce emissions of SO2, and sulfuric acid mist.

  • Sulfur Dioxide - High concentrations of sulfur dioxide affect breathing and may aggravate existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Sensitive populations include asthmatics, individuals with bronchitis or emphysema, children, and the elderly. Sulfur dioxide is also a primary contributor to acid rain.

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Civil Penalty

Mosaic will pay a $2.4 million penalty, $600,000 of which will go to Louisiana.

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State Partners

EPA and the State of Louisiana jointly brought this action against Mosaic.

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Comment Period

The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, is subject to a 45-day public comment period and final court approval. Information on submitting comments is available at the Department of Justice website.

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Contact

For more information, contact:

Tahani Rivers
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2242A)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460-0001
(202) 564-6850
rivers.tahani@epa.gov

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