Court: Company must pay for toxic waste on Idaho tribal land

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has ruled that a Philadelphia-based agribusiness company that left millions of tons of toxic waste on tribal land in Idaho must pay the tribes nearly $20 million plus $1.5 million annually.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court ruling against FMC Corp. involving a now-shuttered Idaho plant that turned phosphate into fertilizer.

FMC for about 50 years, until 2001, operated the fertilizer plant that produced 22 million tons (20 million metric tons) of waste stored on the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

The company contended it wasn’t obligated to pay the $1.5 million annual permit fee to the tribes for storing the waste after closing the plant.

The tribes say the money will be used for monitoring and cleanup at the site.

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