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1999 IFDC Current environmental issues of fertilizer production

During the past decade, the global fertilizer industry has made substantial progress in the identification and mitigation of potential environmental impacts that may occur at the point of production and throughout the physical distribution system. During this time, fertilizer producers, engineering and scientific community, fertilizer distributors and marketers, financial planners and managers, policy makers, and others who are charged with the management and regulation of environmental affairs within the fertilizer sector have accumulated a wealth of knowledge. The environmental challenges currently confronting the fertilizer industry have increased in recent years and now include such issues as climate change and depletion of the ozone layer. Likewise, several international environmental Conventions now affect industrial operations and many of the environmental issues are interconnected. Thus, the adoption of more sophisticated approaches to environmental management, including the concept of pollution prevention, are now being rapidly adopted with planners, managers, operators taking on an increased level of responsibility for mitigating environmental impacts. Concurrent with the increased level of environmental sensitivity, complexity, and stewardship that has occurred within the industry during the past decade, there has been an unprecedented change in the structure of the industry. These structural changes have resulted in a significant consolidation of industry ownership, a decreased number of operating plants, and an accelerated shift from public- to private-sector ownership and management. Despite the restructuring and consolidation of the industry, global production of fertilizer continues to increase and the environmental issues continue to be vigorously addressed in terms of technology, economics, and policy. In view of the technological progress made worldwide in achieving an increased level of environmental stewardship in the fertilizer production sector, an appraisal of the fertilizer production industry in Central and Eastern Europe as it responds to existing and emerging environmental challenges is timely. IFDC organized an international workshop to provide the industry and other stakeholders an opportunity to examine the environmental issues facing the fertilizer production industry with emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe. This workshop was conducted in cooperation with the European Fertilizer Manufacturers’ Association (EFMA), the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.

These proceedings record the substance of the workshop deliberations. The reader of these proceedings may also wish to refer to the proceedings of other environmental workshop initiatives undertaken by IFDC:

• Environmental Impact of Ammonia and Urea Production Units, IFDC SP-17, 1992

• Phosphate Fertilizers and the Environment, IFDC SP-18, 1992

• Nitric Acid-Based Fertilizers and the Environment, IFDC SP-21, 1994

• Environmental Challenges of Fertilizer Production—An Examination of Progress and Pitfalls, IFDC SP-25, 1998

These publications may be obtained from IFDC.


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