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Air monitoring coming for Pascagoula neighborhood

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News,Business

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Phosphates Corp. will install an air monitoring device in a Pascagoula neighborhood amid residents' intensifying worries about the health and environmental impacts of the fertilizer manufacturer.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1lgUTm0) Mississippi Phosphates agreed to the monitoring system after a conference call Wednesday with local officials and state and federal regulators.

Madison-based Mississippi Phosphates, which employs about 220, makes sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid, which it uses to produce fertilizer.

Pascagoula Mayor Jim Blevins described the conference call as "much-improved communication" between the community, government and industry.

On May 28, Mississippi Phosphates reported a release of acidic water. The company's permit allows it to discharge water with a pH in the range of 6-9, roughly balanced between acidic and basic.

The company reported a second sulfuric acid release this past week.

Residents near the plant have been complaining of odors, acid mists and other issues. Some organized a group called Cherokee Concerned Citizens to voice their concerns, which include other businesses besides Mississippi Phosphates.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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