Three subsidiaries of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS), the world’s largest fertilizer producer, will introduce measures to decrease pollutant air emissions at eight U.S. production plants, which is a part of a settlement with the United States. The settlement follows claims that the PCS subsidiaries breached the Clean Air Act when they amended their facilities in a way that allowed for an increased sulphur dioxide into surrounding communities.
The settlement furthermore requires the subsidiaries to install, upgrade, and operate the modern pollution reduction measures including installation of emissions monitoring eight sulphuric acid plants in their facilities in Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, White Springs, and Aurora. The three companies – PCS Nitrogen Fertilizer, AA Sulfuric Inc., and White Springs – will spend about $50 million on the adoption of required policies and measures. Moreover, they will pay $1.3 million as a fine. According to the Office of Enforcement and Compliance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this case is hoped to “bring companies into compliance and encourage them to further actions to cut pollution to benefit communities, especially those most vulnerable to air pollution.”
EPA further expects that the steps that the companies have agreed to take will decrease harmful emissions by more than 13,090 tons annually, which encompasses approximately 12,600 tons per year of sulphur dioxide, 430 tons per year of ammonia, and 60 tons per year of nitrogen oxide. In the future, the companies may also retire plants to comply with the settlement. The deal with the United States also includes a “supplemental environmental project” that is estimated to cost between $2.5 and $4 million to protect the community around a PCS Nitrogen nitric acid plant in Louisiana. It also demands from PCS Nitrogen to set up an operate equipment to decrease emissions of nitrogen oxide and ammonia. This endeavour with PCS’s subsidiaries is part of EPA’s commitment to advance environmental justice by lowering the disproportionate environmental impact on communities near industrial facilities.