Mosaic Company, a major phosphate and potash producer, was granted federal wetlands permits to expand its South Fort Meade underground phosphate mine in Florida but Sierra Club and a group of environmental organizations challenged the permits in court based on claims regarding the environmental impact of the mine expansion.
Now the parties have settled the court challenge using the well-established process of offsets. Mosaic has agreed to:
- Preservation of approximately 130 acres of land otherwise eligible to be mined by Mosaic.
- Donation of a 4,171 acre parcel of ranch land to the State of Florida or, alternatively, a not-for-profit organization for permanent conservation. In addition, , Mosaic will provide up to $2 million for startup and recurring expenses to operate the land as a state park in accordance with the State’s Florida Forever program plans. Its conservation will expand wildlife corridors and preserve vital habitats and floodplain, while protecting a vital water resource from approaching development.
- Certain mitigation, monitoring and site enhancements.
- Additional efforts to obtain permanent conservation easements along the Peace River in Florida.
The environmental group litigants have accepted Mosaic’s proposal, which is still subject to court approval.
GallonDaily commends the Company and the groups for reaching this kind of settlement and commends the offset approach as worthy of consideration by other companies that are proposing major developments such as mines and pipelines.
More details of the planned settlement can be found at http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=70455&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1663421&highlight=