PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Fertilizer manufacturing facility Mississippi Phosphates Corp. pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a felony Clean Water Action violation.
MPC admitted to dumping more than 38 million gallons of wastewater into Bayou Casotte in August 2013. Because the discharge contained pollutants that exceeded MPC's permit limits, more than 47,000 fish were killed and the bayou was closed.
Additionally, the company also admitted to dumping oily wastewater into a storm water culvert, which created an "oily sheen that extended approximately one mile down the bayou from MPC."
Because MPC is currently in bankruptcy and obligated to assist in funding approximately $120 million cleanup of the area, the court agreed for the company to transfer 320 acres of property near the plant to become part of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
"With this plea, Mississippi Phosphates has accepted responsibility for having discharged millions of gallons of industrial pollutants that killed tens of thousands of fish, damaged marine habitats and polluted recreational waterways," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Hirsch. "Mississippi Phosphates has acknowledged its misconduct and has been sentenced to transfer property it owns that is adjacent to the Grand Bay National Estuary, thus protecting and potentially rehabilitating a vital marine resource that this company's pollutant discharges had severely damaged."
To read the entire statement from The United States Department of Justice, click here.