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Mosaic gives up permit for Mulberry acid plant

Published By: Charlotte Sun

BARTOW – Mosaic Fertilizer agreed this week to give up its permit for a now-closed sulfuric acid production plant in Mulberry in partial settlement of a Clean Air Act action filed in federal court in New Orleans.

It did not, as the Associated Press erroneously reported, agree to close its Bartow chemical plant, which remains in operation.

The confusion, according to Russell Schweiss, public affairs manager for Mosaic, came from a reference to the Mulberry plant as being "near Bartow."

Mosaic shut down the Mulberry plant in 2008, Schweiss said.

Mosaic, which has its corporate headquarters in Plymouth, Minn., is the last phosphate company still operating in Polk County.

In the settlement, the company agreed to spend about $30 million to improve air pollution controls at its sulfuric acid plant near Baton Rouge, La., as well as to give up its permit for the Mulberry plant.

Since that plant is closed, the settlement has no effect on any Mosaic operations in Florida, Schweiss said.

He said the upgrades at the Louisiana plant will include state-of-the-art scrubbers to capture sulfur dioxide emissions.

The agreement also requires Mosaic to pay a $2.4 million civil penalty.

Sulfur dioxide is emitted in the production of sulfuric acid, and in sufficient concentrations, can cause respiratory problems.

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