U.S. Environmental Safety Company versus Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC

Regulatory Compliance

(1)America Environmental Safety Company (EPA), Florida phosphate trade officers, and Florida’s elected officers have come to a legally binding “Consent Agreement” (settlement) and “Final Order” (CARO). The settlement was written within the wake of EPA officers continued effort to convey justice finally to the Florida taxpayer. EPA Area four, Atlanta Federal Middle is situated in Atlanta, GA. The character of the motion taken in opposition to Mosaic Fertilizer LLC (Mosaic), is a civil enforcement motion introduced by the EPA addressing the alleged violation of the Useful resource Conservation and Restoration Act, (1) based mostly on strip mining operations within the central Florida space. Particularly, for alleged coverage practices by Mosaic for disposal of reverse osmosis reject right into a phosphogypsum stack system. This settlement is the product of virtually seven years within the making. Over the past seven years, Florida’s phosphate trade principally stalled the authorized course of till a bonus of their favor was realized. It’s clear to see, Florida’s taxpayers won’t be repaid absolutely and Mosaic won’t be pressured to pay for his or her justifiable share of monetary accountability. In a letter dated March 2009, Senior Environmental and Company Counsel, Mr. James Ok. Voyles for Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, Mulberry, FL, (1) obtained discover of the actions taken in opposition to The Mosaic Firm by the EPA. The next paragraph explains what every occasion is to anticipate in regards to the phrases of the “Consent Agreement.” It seems to be saying the EPA won’t require act of contrition on any formal motion in opposition to Mosaic and Mosaic will comply with the Consent Settlement phrases as extra of a “settlement” settlement. “Complainant (EPA) and Respondent (Mosaic) have conferred for the purpose of settlement pursuant to 40 C.F.R. 5 22.18, and desire to settle this action. Accordingly, before any testimony has been taken upon the pleadings and without any admission of violation or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and in accordance with 40 C.F.R. 5 22.13(b), Complainant and Respondent have agreed to the execution of this CAFO. Respondent hereby agrees to comply with the terms of this CAFO.” (1)

The paragraph reads like an apology as an alternative of a punishment. It’s plain to see, the language used within the above paragraph reveals no “real” punishment. As soon as one reads the “agreement”, one could make up their very own thoughts. The complete “Consent Agreement” on the URL is talked about under. The Consent Settlement “permits” Mosaic to disclaim any and all prices, refuse testimony, be cleared of relative violations pending and have “no further responsibility” for the devastation to the Central Florida’s panorama. The benefit of the settlement to Florida’s phosphate trade is seen right here. Living proof, if one remembers, a phosphate plant in central Florida involving a catastrophic sinkhole forming inside a phosphogypsum stack. The tax payer cash concerned to mitigate the injury was estimated by EPA trade analysts to be round eleven billion (2). For $11 Billion, Florida can have one phosphogypsum stack eliminated. Sadly, Florida is residence to virtually two dozen rising phosphogypsum stacks. Right here one can see the phosphate trade’s standpoint. Which means, if Florida needs these phosphogysum satcks neutrilized, then Florida tax payers can pay for it or it won’t occur. The settlement additionally permits the state of Florida to champion radioactive hazardous waste containment (watch canine) packages as an alternative of the EPA program necessities enforced by federal legislation. This problem was already conceded after a ten 12 months authorized battle with Florida’s phosphate trade and Florida’s elected officers. The top result’s Florida’s Division of Environmental Safety (FDEP) will probably be answerable for the enforcement of federal environmental legal guidelines. The FDEP has already reported publicly, they (FDEP) get overruled by Florida’s elected officers and stored from doing their job regarding earlier extreme phosphate trade violations. This can be an train in futility as a result of the “fox is guarding the hen house”. Florida’s elected officers, traditionally, have turned a deaf ear to the Florida phosphate trade’s “alleged” extreme environmental coverage violations. The settlement begins with the closure of the mining amenities in Bartow, Florida. The plant identify is Inexperienced Bay Services. The settlement goes on to allege that Mosaic knowingly violated federal code based mostly on Mosaics wastewater remedy practices within the Inexperienced Bay facility. Based mostly on the settlement, the phosphogypsum stack in Bartow, FL is to be closed, and remedial motion is required to take care of the stack. The EPA or the phosphate officers have no idea what to do with the mountainous phosphogypsum stack, so that they (Mosaic) should attempt to preserve the stack in place. It is because phosphogypsum is a radioactive waste product and can’t be disposed of legally in any method. The Inexperienced Bay phosphogypsum stack will hang-out Floridians for generations to return. The settlement additionally states, the phosphogypsum stack in Mulberry, FL is to be closed as effectively. There may be to be no extra waste transferred from the Bartow facility to the Mulberry facility, based mostly on the settlement. The phosphogypsum stack in Mulberry is simply as lethal to the atmosphere because the Bartow “gypstack”. Right here once more, federal officers and state officers have no idea what to do with the phosphogypsum waste. The Mulberry phosphogypsum stack will even be right here for future generations of Floridians to pay for with their tax and their well being. What The Consent Settlement Is Not Saying What the Consent Settlement between the EPA and Mosaic doesn’t say may be very worrisome as a result of Florida’s taxpayers are usually not getting their “environmental” monies price. Traditionally, Florida’s phosphate trade creates extreme environmental impacts to Florida’s panorama, day by day. The Florida taxpayer then is pressured to pay for the cleanup till litigation is full. I see no point out of the billions of taxpayer being repaid for earlier trade accidents and lack of ecosystems distinctive on the earth, solely to Florida. Additionally troubling, there isn’t a point out of proof of monetary accountability to mitigate for future catastrophes. As soon as once more, our elected officers bow to company pressures, partly due to overrunning budgets, however largely due to political strain being utilized to stifle the prevailing environmental legal guidelines of this nation and the state of Florida. The settlement between the EPA (Federal Authorities) and Mosaic appears to start inserting blame the place it belongs, On this case, Mosaic LLC. Nonetheless, the phosphate trade, as an entire is untouched by the settlement. Sooner or later, one will proceed to see the identical phosphate trade practices talked about above if historical past is one’s information. The Florida taxpayer should communicate to their elected officers if they need the problem to stay within the public eye. In any other case, the phosphate trade will fall from media view and be forgotten. The following environmental disaster is looming straight within the path of central Florida’s phosphate trade. Reference Consent Settlement yosemite.epa.gov/oa/rhc/epaadmin.nsf/filings/cf7a16c69de293b48525764f0066cf51/$file/cafo.pdf United States Environmental Safety Company, EPA

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