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Agrium U.S. faces Clean Air Act violations in Kennewick

Release Date: 9/25/2003
Contact Information: Betty Wiese
(206) 553-0695

September 24, 2003

EPA Issues Administrative Compliance Order to Agrium U.S. Inc., for Federal Clean Air Act Violations at Kennewick Fertilizer Facility

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an Administrative Compliance Order to Agrium U.S, Inc. for failure to obtain the necessary New Source Review (NSR) permits prior to commencing several modifications at its Kennewick facility.

The Order establishes legally-enforceable deadlines for complying with the NSR requirements. Agrium discovered the violations at the Kennewick facility through a comprehensive Clean Air Act audit of the facility in late 2000. Agrium promptly reported the audit findings to EPA under EPA’s policy on Incentives for Self-Policing, also referred to as the “Self-Disclosure Policy”.

Agrium owns and operates a complex of fertilizer production, storage and distribution facilities near Kennewick. EPA’s Order requires that Agrium submit the necessary applications for an NSR permit for the facilities where Agrium identified that changes were made that should have obtained NSR permits prior to construction.

According to Betty Wiese, manager of EPA’s air quality enforcement group in Seattle, Agrium has cooperated during the course of the investigation.

“Agrium has been very forthcoming,” Wiese said. “We’ve recognized their effort to identify the violations and work diligently to come back into compliance with the Clean Air Act. They have actively involved not only EPA, but the Washington Department of Ecology and the Benton Clean Air Authority.”

The completed applications will ultimately be submitted to the Washington Department of Ecology, the agency responsible for issuing such permits. The permit will include an evaluation of the best available control technology for each of the plants and an assessment of the impact of the facility’s emissions on ambient air. Once the permits are issued, Agrium will be required to install the necessary emission controls in order to meet the emission limits established in the permit.
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