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P4 Production, LLC, Begins Comprehensive Mine Cleanup Planning in Southeast Idaho

Release Date: 12/01/2009
Contact Information: Dave Tomten, EPA/Boise, 208-378-5763, - Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-7302,

(Boise, ID – December 1, 2009) P4 Production LLC, a southeast Idaho phosphate mining company, has reached agreement with five federal and state agencies, as well as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, to develop comprehensive cleanup plans for three phosphate mines near Soda Springs, Idaho.

The agreement requires P4 Production (a subsidiary of the Monsanto Company) to complete remedial investigations and feasibility studies for the Ballard, Henry, and Enoch Valley mines. The Ballard Mine was operated from 1951 to 1969, the Henry Mine was operated from 1969 to 1989, and Enoch Valley Mine was operated from 1989 until recently. They are all currently inactive.

“After years of hard work, we’ve gotten everyone signed-on to create a comprehensive, in-depth look at the risks these mines pose,” said Lori Cohen, acting director of EPA’s Superfund Cleanup office in Seattle. “This new agreement will build on work already completed by the Company and give us a clearer picture of the health risks posed to the area’s people, livestock and wildlife.”

Signing the agreement with the Company were: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Each will provide oversight and support to the project.

Data already collected by P4 shows that selenium and other pollutants are being released from waste rock dumps and contaminating nearby soil, water, and vegetation. EPA will use this and other information captured about the site to develop proposed plans of how to clean them up.

EPA will seek formal comment on proposed cleanup plans from interested parties before making final decisions. The first proposed cleanup plan is expected to be completed in the next two to three years.