Recipient of $200M Federal Grant to Help Build Electric Vehicle Batteries in U.S. Must Pay $33.5M Fine for Pollution Overseas

By B.N. Frank

Fires associated with EVs – including bikes and trucks – continue to be reported in the U.S. as well as worldwide.  Of course, there are numerous other issues associated with EVs – some of them environmental.  Nevertheless, the Biden Administration continues to promote EVs as environmentally friendly as well as fund their manufacturing, maintenance, and operation in the U.S.  We can only hope that some of the federal funding provided for a future EV battery plant in St. Louis, MO will be spent to prevent a situation like what already happened in Israel.

From St. Louis Today:

Company planning St. Louis expansion hit with $33 million fine for pollution overseas

The Israeli company planning an expansion to help build electric vehicle batteries in St. Louis reached an agreement last month to pay a $33.5 million fine for pollution in Israel — the largest such penalty in the country’s history, according to some reports.

ICL Group — which makes a range of chemicals, fertilizers, and industrial products — announced that the Dec. 14 settlement agreement between one of its subsidiaries and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority resolves issues sparked in 2017, when an evaporation pond wall collapsed at one of its fertilizer plants in southern Israel.

The incident spilled over 26 million gallons of highly acidic water across more than 12 miles of the surrounding desert and watershed, causing contamination and, according to Israeli news reports, killing a third of a local herd of rare ibex — a kind of wild goat known for long, curved horns.

In the aftermath, Israel’s Ministry of Environment launched a criminal investigation into the plant’s owner and ICL, its parent company.

“All the plants and animals in the valley during the tsunami of acid were probably highly damaged, probably dead,” said Oded Netzer, an ecologist for the ministry, Reuters reported in 2017. “In the long term, there will be soil damage and large functional ecological problems.”

Through the new settlement, ICL’s subsidiary agreed to pay for restoration of the contaminated area and other things, such as legal expenses. The financial impact on ICL “is not expected to be material,” the company said in a recent summary posted to its website.

ICL did not respond to requests for an interview.

The company employs about 300 people in the St. Louis area.

In October, the Biden administration announced that ICL would receive a nearly $200 million federal grant to help build a 120,000-square-foot plant at its existing campus in St. Louis’ Carondelet neighborhood. The $400 million plant will produce material for the lithium battery industry — crucial for electric vehicles — and is hailed as the first large-scale facility of its kind being developed in the U.S.

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In addition to battery fires and fires that are difficult to extinguish (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13), other issues associated with EVs include:

Activist Post reports regularly about EVs and other unsafe technologies.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

Image: Pixabay

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