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News Releases from Region 06

Innophos Addresses Mismanagement of Hazardous Waste at Louisiana Facility Under Settlement Agreement

01/12/2017
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (Jan. 12, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Innophos has agreed to cease sending hazardous waste from the company’s facility in Geismar, Louisiana, to an adjacent facility that was not permitted for hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal. The agreement resolves alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Innophos will also pay a $1,398,000 civil penalty.

Innophos manufactures purified phosphoric acid from merchant-grade acid at its facility in Geismar, Louisiana. Innophos sent hazardous waste streams to a neighboring phosphoric acid manufacturing facility that produces acid from phosphate ore. One waste stream, called RP pondwater, consisted of an acidic stream contaminated with arsenic, cadmium and chromium. The other waste stream, called raffinate, consisted of a concentrated acid stream contaminated with cadmium and chromium.

Today's settlement requires Innophos to cease shipments of RP pondwater waste to a facility not authorized to receive it, a measure that Innophos has already implemented.  The settlement also requires Innophos to modify the way the raffinate stream is handled by disposing of the waste only in disposal units that are authorized to accept it or by treating the waste on-site. 

The violations were discovered during an EPA inspection of the Geismar facility in 2004. Innophos has already made changes to come into compliance with regards to the RP pondwater waste stream by modifying its filter process, and is pursuing an underground injection control well permit for disposal of the raffinate waste stream.

This settlement supports EPA’s National Enforcement Initiative to reduce pollution from mining and mineral processing.

With the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as co-plaintiff, the United States, on behalf of EPA, has lodged a consent decree and filed a complaint in the Middle District U.S. Court in Louisiana. The filing of the complaint and lodging of the consent decree will be followed by a 45-day public comment period. Information about submitting public comment and a copy of the consent decree are available at www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

For more information on the case, please visit https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/innophos-resource-conservation-and-recovery-act-settlement

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