From Green Right Now Reports
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ExxonMobil agreed to settle a case involving more than one billion gallons of illegally stored hazardous waste at the Agrifos Fertilizer site in Pasadena, near Houston. The EPA said ExxonMobil violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by illegally commingling hazardous waste with the acidic process wastewater stored in the impoundments.
The oil company will spend more than $150 million to close the impoundments and dispose of the hazardous waste at the site. As part of the settlement, Exxon will be responsible for post-closure care, including groundwater monitoring, from the impoundments for the next 50 years, EPA officials said.
Agrifos Fertilizer, the property owner, purchased the 509 acre plot from ExxonMobil in 1998. The Agrifos site includes a mineral processing facility that extracts phosphorus from mineral ores to produce phosphoric acid. Exxon Mobil will conduct the majority of the clean-up work at the site and Agrifos is responsible for the remaining activities.
The EPA says mining and mineral processing facilities generate more toxic and hazardous waste than any other industrial sector, based on EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory. If not properly managed, these facilities pose a high risk to human health and the environment. Since 2003, EPA has been investigating a total of 20 phosphoric acid facilities in seven states.