Environmental Impact Analysis:
Scoping, Screening, Assessment
    EIA - Environmental Impact Assessment:   A Coastal Water Quality Example

    Lebanon Chemical Fertilizer Factory, Selaata:   release of phosphogypsum sludge
    The case study simulates the release of phosphogypsum sludge from the Lebanon Chemicals Company s.a.l. (LCC), Selaata, Lebanon, to assess possible impacts on the marine environment.

    Selaata is located on the Mediaterranean coast, North of Batroun, itself North of Beirut. The priamry or master domain for the study cover a 12 by 12 km square, within which several smaller model domains are defined.

    The LCC fertilizer factory The LCC, Lebanon Chemicals Company s.a.l. is located directly on the Mediterranean coast South of the Selaata harbor, manufactures phosphate fertilisers from phosphate rock that also copntains heavy metals such as cadmium and vanadium.

    A a waste product from the frertilizer production, acidic sludge containing primarily phosphogypsum is discharged into the sea, 25,000 m3/day, according to Greenpeace (http://archive.greenpeace.org/majordomo/mhonarc-test/msg00210.html).

    Phosphogypsum is by-product and waste from processing phosphate rock by the "wet acid" method of fertilizer production.
    See also: About Phosphogypsum, US EPA.

    The phosphoric acid produced is a valuable component of fertilizer. The leftover phosphogypsum is in the form of a solid/water mixture (slurry) which in the case of LCC is being discharged into the sea.

    Major environmental concerns relate to the acidity and heavy metals: phosphogypsum contains some trace metals in concentrations that EPA believes may pose a chemical hazard to human health and the environment. Analysis of samples from various facilities contained arsenic, lead, cadmium, chromium, fluoride, zinc, antimony, and copper at concentrations that may pose significant health risks. The concentrations of these contaminants vary by more than three orders of magnitude among samples taken from various locations. These trace metals may also be leached from phosphogypsum and migrate to nearby surface and groundwater resources, or be directly released to coastal waters.

    Another environmental concern is radioactivity. The USEPA reports examples for phosphogypsum from Florida: The concentrations of uranium and radium-226 in phosphogypsum samples taken in central Florida were about 10 times the background levels in soil for uranium and 60 times the background levels in soil for radium-226.
    The radium-226 concentration in phosphogypsum varies significantly at different sampling locations.

    For more examples from the phosphogypsum in in Florida, see: http://www.fipr.state.fl.us/research-area-chem.htm from the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute.

    Case study: LCC, Selaata Model implementation Input data Scenario analysis On-line demo system


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