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Fertilizer Maker Settles $2 Billion RCRA Case with US EPA

Posted on 10/2/2015 by Roger Marks

A fertilizer maker with facilities in Florida and Louisiana settled an enforcement case with US EPA with a total value reported at about $2 billion, EPA reported on October 1.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) enforcement case concerns hazardous waste from fertilizer production described in EPA’s press release as “stored in large piles, tanks, ditches and ponds; the piles can reach 500 feet high and cover more than 600 acres, making them some of the largest manmade waste piles in the US.” According to US EPA, the 60 billion pounds of hazardous waste addressed by the enforcement action is the most ever in a single Federal or State RCRA settlement. 

          Alleged violations include:

·         Failure to properly treat, store, and dispose of hazardous waste; and
·         Mixing corrosive hazardous waste with chemicals and process wastewater.

RCRA Settlement Terms

Under the terms of the RCRA settlement, the fertilizer company will establish a trust fund of $630 million to be invested until it grows to $1.8 billion—enough to pay for the future closure of 4 facilities (3 in Florida and 1 in Louisiana), treat the hazardous wastewater stored on-site, and provide for the long-term care of the sites and three others undergoing closure.

In addition, the company will spend $172 million on environmental projects (including two local projects) and pay $8 million in civil penalties—$5 million to the Federal government, $1.55 million to Florida, and $1.45 million to Louisiana.

RCRA sets standards for generating, storing, treating, and disposing of hazardous waste in the United States. Individual states must adopt these rules, and often set unique standards that are more stringent than what US EPA requires.

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Build confidence navigating the US EPA’s RCRA rules and keeping your site in compliance at the Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Workshop. Designed to fulfill EPA’s initial training or annual re-training requirement for hazardous waste personnel, this interactive workshop covers the latest Federal RCRA standards— including how new recycling rules under the 2015 Definition of Solid Waste affect your site. 

Tags: EPA, hazardous waste, RCRA

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