In October of 2014 the Mississippi Phosphates Company in Pascagoula declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company left 700 million gallons of acidic, contaminated wastewater at the site. Every inch of rain creates an additional 9 million gallons of contaminated wastewater.
The facility is only capable of treating less than 2 million gallons a day of the contaminated wastewater, which is then released to Bayou Casotte and the Gulf of Mexico. On February 11, 2017 the EPA took over responsibility for wastewater treatment and control of the abandoned gypsum stacks. Taxpayers are now paying the bill for maintenance of this toxic site. The fear of another large fish kill is ever present. Radioactive contamination, heavy metals and contaminated groundwater also remain.
How could a company be allowed to create such a huge hazard to the waters of Bayou Casotte, the Grand Bay NEER Reserve and the Gulf of Mexico? The failure of State and Federal regulators to oversee the irresponsible behavior of Mississippi Phosphates has led to this easily avoidable and now potentially disastrous situation.
The EPA is attempting to place this site on the National Priorities List, also known as the Superfund. The Gulf Restoration Network is on location working with local residents and the EPA to determine how this hazard to public health and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico will be cleaned up.
Map showing location of the closed Mississippi Phosphates facility and the nearby waters of the Grand Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.