Company must pay Idaho tribe for toxic waste

In News by sbtewmp01

Appeals court says agribusiness owes millions over closed phosphate plant

  • By KEITH RIDLER Of the Associated Press
  • Nov 20, 2019
  • Original post –

BOISE — A U.S. appeals court has ruled that a Philadelphia-based agribusiness company that left millions of tons of toxic waste on tribal land in Idaho must pay the tribes nearly $20 million, plus $1.5 million annually.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court ruling against FMC Corp. involving a now-shuttered Idaho plant that turned phosphate into fertilizer.

For about 50 years until 2001, FMC operated the fertilizer plant that produced 22 million tons of waste stored on the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

The company contended in one of its arguments that it wasn’t obligated to pay the $1.5 million annual permit fee to the tribes for storing the waste after closing the plant. A judge called that argument “ludicrous.”