Action taken against fertiliser firm

US environmental authorities have ordered a fertiliser manufacturer to clean up its act after 'many' spills of hazardous materials which could endanger human life.

The Mississippi Phosphates Corporation (MPC) in Pascagoula, was issued with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order forcing it to clean up its facility last Friday (25 September).

The EPA issued the order under Section 7003 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which states an ‘imminent and substantial endangerment’ to human health and the environment exists at the facility.

MPC manufactures sulphuric acid and phosphoric acid at the site and produces phosphate-based fertilizer.

An EPA spokesman said: “We believe that an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment exists at the facility due to improper storage, inadequate worker safety equipment and many leaks and spills of solid and liquid hazardous wastes.

“Some of the work required of MPC in the 7003 Order includes immediate treatment and containment of releases of hazardous waste – submittal of plans and timetables for rapid remediation of contaminated media.

“Identifying and repairing sources of leaks and spills of sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, and acidic process wastewaters on-site, submittal of plans and timetables for mitigating contaminant migration and providing all employees with chemical resistant clothing for use inside the plant.”

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