Responsible Plant Closure

Responsible Plant Closure

Leading by Example

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Responsible Plant Closure Responsible Plant Closure

A decommissioned 560-acre fertilizer plant in Port Maitland, Ontario, provides a good example of Mosaic's careful approach to responsible plant closure. Starting in 2000 through one of our predecessor companies, Mosaic implemented an on-going program to identify and eliminate on-site sources of phosphorous that could potentially run off in rainwater. Mosaic took a number of steps to improve the site, including capping phosphogypsum piles, installing cut-off walls, cleaning and lining ponds and ditches with clay and segregating storm water drains.

In 2003, we converted a 90-acre holding pond for phosphorus-rich water to a wetland. Water control features and planting of indigenous upland and wetland vegetation were put in place. Now, the resulting wetland and pond have become regular stop-overs for migratory birds and the upland habitat has become home to resident bird populations and other wildlife.

We implemented a pilot agricultural irrigation system designed to constructively use phosphorus-rich water for crop irrigation, reducing the need for fertilizer application.

We converted a former 70-acre clay borrow pit to a wetland designed to remove phosphorus from the site and surface waters. The wetland featured four individual cells with depth control structures, as well as a serpentine flow path of more than 2.5 miles. Today, colonies of native vegetation are thriving in the wetlands.

In 2008, five frog species were seen or heard at the site. There's possible evidence that a sixth species, the endangered cricket frog, may also be present. Of all wetland-dependent species, amphibians are the most sensitive to toxins and stressors, owing to their permeable skin. The return of tree frogs, peepers and other native frogs is a clear sign now that the area has developed into a fully functional ecosystem.