Helping FAN draw attention to EPA’s double standard on Mosaic’s fluoride waste

On November 6, FAN submitted comments to the Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division and the Environmental Protection Agency on the recent “settlement” over Mosaic Fertilizer LLC’s reckless contamination of the environment at its facilities in Florida and Louisiana. The settlement comes under federal Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This Act gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the “cradle-to-grave.” This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.

According to the Consent Decrees:

“the Complaint includes allegations that Mosaic failed to characterize and illegally treated, stored and disposed of hazardous  wastes from various processes at its Facilities, including: the production of sulfuric acid, diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) fertilizer, and fluorosilicic acid (FSA)” and more.

Mosaic, a giant part of the phosphate fertilizer industry, produces Fluorosilicic acid, a hazardous waste that is transformed into a product when it is sold. It is this transformation that allows it to be dumped as a fluoridation chemical in public drinking water across the U.S.

According to the Consent Decrees, Mosaic will not sustain any criminal liabilities for its gross violations of RCRA:

“… by agreeing to entry of this Consent Decree, Mosaic makes no  admission of law or fact with respect to the allegations in the Complaint,  and continues to deny any non-compliance or violation of any law or regulation identified therein or in this Consent  Decree.  For the purpose of avoiding litigation among the Parties, however, Mosaic and where applicable The Mosaic Company [parent company], agree to the requirements of this Consent Decree;”

This settlement may appear large (EPA reports state “close to $2 billion”) but there are a lot of smoke and mirrors here. Most of the money is allocated to Mosaic’s remediation of the hazardous waste at its many sites and investments in cleaner production. But more importantly, the Consent Decress circumvents due process.

From FAN’s point of view it represents a double standard. As we say in our submission:

“FAN is dismayed at the Environmental Protection Agency’s glaring double standard. While it has taken some steps to address the DIRECT impacts of Mosaic’s hazardous waste on the local environment it continues to turn a blind eye on the INDIRECT impact of the use of this hazardous waste when it is deliberately added to the public water supply in water fluoridation programs.”

In addition to several measures designed to give greater protection to workers in this industry, FAN is asking that:

“MOSAIC be expressly forbidden to sell Fluorosilicic Acid, or any other chemical manufactured at their site(s), for any purpose connected with the fluoridation of drinking water.”

Here is a link to our full submission

Please support FAN by sending an email this week to express your support for FAN’s submission to the Department of Justice at pubcomment-ees.enrd@usdoj.gov – you might want to add that you don’t want to drink Mosaic’s hazardous waste in every glass of water, coffee, tea, and soda that you drink.

Sincerely,

The team at Fluoride Action Network

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