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Public Comment Invited on Simplot Consent Decree Amendment

Release Date: 09/01/2010
Contact Information: Mark MacIntyre/EPA 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov, U.S. Department of Justice, 202-514-2007

(Seattle – September 1, 2010) A Consent Decree Amendment has been lodged in federal district court in Idaho, triggering a 30 day public comment period. This short Consent Decree Amendment expands a 2002 agreement between Simplot and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding cleanup actions at the Simplot facility near Pocatello, Idaho.

This Consent Decree provides the legal framework for Simplot to implement EPA's 1998 Record of Decision (ROD) and 2010 Interim ROD Amendment (IRODA) for the Simplot Operable Unit of the Eastern Michaud Flats (EMF) Superfund Site.

Simplot will now be addressing its phosphorus releases from its facility to groundwater which discharges to the Portneuf River. The Consent Decree Amendment will take effect when it is entered by the District Court after public comment is received.

According to Lori Cohen, Deputy Director of EPA’s Superfund cleanup office in Seattle, the work Simplot has agreed to perform under the Amendment will significantly reduce phosphorus loading to the Portneuf River and better protect local groundwater.

“As a result of this action, Simplot will make a major investment in reducing phosphorous releases from both the gypstack and the phosphoric acid production plant,” said EPA’s Cohen.
“This is a big deal for protecting the Portneuf River and area groundwater.”

Phosphorus is a nutrient that causes excessive aquatic plant growth, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the water available for fish. The Simplot Don Plant facility is the largest known source of phosphorus to the Portneuf River.

The beginning of the comment period will be formally announced in the federal register approximately a week after lodging. To read an electronic copy of the Consent Decree Amendment, go to (URL)
To comment on the Consent Decree Amendment, please send all comments to: the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, either by email: pubcomment-ees.enrd@usdoj.gov, or by mail to: P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20044-7611, with reference to United States of America et al. v. FMC Corporation and J.R. Simplot Company, DJ Reference No. 90-11-3-10054.

The Consent Decree Amendment may be examined at the Office of the United States Attorney, District of Idaho, Washington Group Plaza IV, 800 Park Blvd., Suite 600, Boise, ID 83712.
During the public comment period, the Consent Decree Amendment may also be examined on the following Department of Justice Web site: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

A copy of the Consent Decree Amendment may also be obtained by mail from the Consent Decree Library, P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20044-7611 or by faxing or e-mailing a request to Tonia Fleetwood (tonia.fleetwood@usdoj.gov), fax no. (202) 514-0097, phone confirmation number (202) 514-1547.

In requesting a copy from the Consent Decree Library, please enclose a check in the amount of $24 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury or, if requesting by e-mail or fax, forward a check in that amount to the Consent Decree Library at the stated address.

A notice of the Consent Decree Amendment will be published in the Federal Register in approximately one week. All comments must be received within thirty (30) days from the date of publication of that Federal Register notice.

For more on the EPA 2010 Interim Rod Amendment, please go to:
http://www.epa.gov/region10/pdf/sites/emichaud/simplot_iroda_01_2010.pdf

For more about the Eastern Michaud Flats Superfund Site, please visit:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/cleanup.nsf/sites/emichaud/