Former Mississippi Phosphates Corp. facility on list of EPA Superfund Sites

Updated: Dec. 9, 2017 at 8:12 PM CST
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The former Mississippi Phosphates Corporation Site in Pascagoula has been included on a list of Superfund sites across the United States. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the list of Superfund sites that Administrator Pruitt has targeted for immediate and intense attention.

The 21 sites on the list are in direct response to the Superfund Task Force Recommendations, issued this summer, calling for this list.

“By elevating these sites we are sending a message that EPA is, in fact, restoring its Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency’s mission,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA will continue to focus on ways we can directly improve public health and the environment for people across America.” 

Mayor Dane Maxwell thanked Administrator Pruitt and his team for understanding the importance of this site and its restoration to the Pascagoula community. 

Mayor Maxwell said, “From my initial discussions with EPA before taking office to our recent meeting with Administrator Pruitt, I am confident the folks on the ground and at the federal level understand the need to revitalize this site for the betterment of Pascagoula and Jackson County, and I thank them for making this a priority for our people.”

The Pascagoula site is a former diammonium phosphate fertilizer plant that began operation in the 1950s. The facility closed operations in Dec. 2014, leaving more than 700,000,000 gallons contaminated wastewater stored at the facility.

On Feb. 11, 2017, EPA assumed temporary control of wastewater treatment operations once the former owner ran out of funds.

EPA is overseeing wastewater treatment at a rate of approximately 2,000,000 gallons per day—at a cost of approximately $1,000,000 per month—due to the high volume of wastewater generated that requires treatment. EPA will continue to oversee wastewater treatment operations at the MPC Site until the facility is sold or cleaned up and closed. 

The list is intended to be dynamic. Sites will move on and off the list as appropriate. At times, there may be more or fewer sites based on where the Administrator’s attention and focus is most needed.  

EPA remains dedicated to addressing risks at all Superfund sites, not just those on the list. The Task Force Recommendations are aimed at expediting cleanup at all Superfund sites.

The Task Force will provide the public with regular updates as it makes progress on the Administrator’s Emphasis list and other Task Force activities. 

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