CF Industries Holdings said Tuesday that it will pay a $625,000 penalty and spend $17 million on new equipment to settle charges over emissions at nine plants that make nitric acid for fertilizers.
The case involved emissions at plants in three states that CF Industries acquired when it bought Terra Industries last year.
The settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agencies in Oklahoma, Iowa and Mississippi involve standards under the federal Clean Air Act. The consent decree is subject to approval by a federal court. The agencies filed suit in federal district court in Sioux City, Iowa.
CF Industries said it will install emission control and monitoring equipment at the plants in Yazoo City, Miss.; Sergeant Bluff, Iowa; Verdigris, Okla., and Woodward, Okla. The EPA said the changes are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 1,200 tons per year.
CF Industries will pay $325,000 in penalties to the federal government and $100,000 apiece to the three states, the EPA said.
EPA’s administrator for enforcement, Cynthia Giles, said illegal air pollution from producing nitric acid can expose the public to long-term respiratory illness and asthma.
The company said it did not admit violating laws or regulations and was pleased to settle the case.
Last year, CF Industries agreed to pay a $700,000 penalty and spend $12 million to reduce and manage hazardous waste generated at a phosphoric acid plant in Florida. That deal also required the company to provide $163.5 million in financial assurances to cover cleanup if the plant is closed.
CF shares rose $2.30, or 1.7 percent, to $135.26 in afternoon trading.