Feds say $57 million needed to clean pollution near Pocatello

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 3 at 8:46 AM

BOISE -- Federal environmental regulators estimate it will cost at least $57 million and take up to five years to clean up phosphorous pollution at a contaminated Superfund site in southeastern Idaho.

The Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday signed documents outlining the cleanup plan at the FMC Corp. chemical facility near Pocatello.

Philadelphia-based FMC operated a phosphorous production plant from 1949 to 2001 on the Eastern Michaud Flats area on the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Reservation.

Over the years, the site has been plagued by "burping" ponds" -- waste repositories that continue to produce phosphine gas that smells of rotten fish and can damage respiratory, nervous and gastrointestinal systems, and the heart, liver, and kidneys.

The EPA says the plan signed Tuesday may not include everything necessary to protect the site's groundwater.

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