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News Releases from Region 04

EPA to Host Public Meeting for the Proposed Listing of the Mississippi Phosphates Corporation Site to the NPL

Public comments sought through Oct. 2, 2017

08/08/2017
Contact Information: 
Davina Marraccini (marraccini.davina@epa.gov)
404-562-8293, 404-562-8400

ATLANTA (August 8, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the former Mississippi Phosphates Corporation (MPC) site in Pascagoula, Miss., to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) and will host a public meeting to explain the NPL process and how the public can submit comments. The NPL is a list of sites that require further investigation in order to protect human health and the environment.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pascagoula Senior Center, located at 1912 Live Oak Avenue, in Pascagoula, Miss. The public is invited to comment on the proposed listing during the 60-day public comment period that ends on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017.

The MPC site is 1,080 acres and is located at 601 Industrial Road in Pascagoula MPC is a former diammonium phosphate fertilizer plant that began operation in the 1950s. The facility ceased operations in December 2014 leaving more than 700,000,000 gallons of low-pH, contaminated wastewater stored at the facility. More than 9,000,000 additional gallons of contaminated water is generated with every one inch of rainfall.

An Environmental Trust, under the direction of MDEQ, managed wastewater treatment at the Site after MPC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2014. EPA assumed oversight of the MPC site when the Environmental Trust became insolvent on February 10, 2017. Currently, EPA is overseeing wastewater treatment at a rate of approximately 2,000,000 gallons per day and a cost of approximately $1,000,000 per month due to the high volume of wastewater generated that requires treatment.

Since assuming oversight of the MPC site, EPA has evaluated conditions at the site for proposal to the NPL. Proposal of the site to the NPL begins the public comment period. Following review of comments, EPA will make a final determination on this proposed listing. EPA will continue to oversee wastewater treatment operations at the MPC Site until the facility is sold or cleaned up and closed.

Public comments may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov (commenters should identify the MPC site by docket number EPA-HQ-OLEM-2017-0075). Alternately, comments may be mailed to:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Superfund Docket Center

Mail Code 28221T

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20460

EPA’s Superfund program is responsible for cleaning up some of the nation’s most contaminated land and responding to environmental emergencies, oil spills and natural disasters. The Superfund NPL is the list of sites of national priority among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation and possible cleanup.

The Superfund program is a cornerstone of the work that the EPA performs for citizens and communities across the country. On July 25, 2017 Administrator Pruitt accepted recommendations from the task force established on May 22, 2017 to revitalize the Superfund program. “My goal as Administrator is to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the agency’s core mission”.

The task force’s recommendations focused on five overarching goals: expediting cleanup and remediation, reinvigorating cleanup and reuse efforts by potentially responsible parties, encouraging private investment to facilitate cleanup and reuse, promoting redevelopment and community revitalization and engaging with partners and stakeholders. Work to prioritize and reinvigorate the program by the task force has been initiated and will be ongoing into the future.

The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at: www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations

Federal Register notices, supporting documents for proposed sites and a link to submit comments, can be found at: www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites

For information about the proposed MPC Site: www.epa.gov/superfund/ms-phosphates-corp

For information about Superfund and the NPL: www.epa.gov/superfund

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And on Twitter: @EPASoutheast

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