PCS Phosphate Permit Will Stand

PCS Phosphate announced Thursday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow the permit issued to the company in Beaufort County to stand.

The Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to PCS Phosphate's plant in Aurora earlier this month. However, the EPA had the opportunity to veto the permit. The EPA has informed the company that the permit will stand.

"After more than eight years in this permitting process, we are obviously pleased to have the 404 wetlands permit in-hand," said Steve Beckel, general manager of the PCS Phosphate Aurora facility. "Yesterday's decision by the EPA demonstrates the company's commitment to protecting the environment for current and future generations."

PCS Phosphate is Beaufort County's biggest employer, with more than 1,000 people on its payroll. The delay in the permitting process forced the company to lay off some workers earlier this year, according to company officials.

Some environmentalist groups worked to stop PCS Phosphate from receiving the permit. They argued PCS Phosphate's expanded mining would endanger wetlands.

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