Legislation could speed up domestic fertilizer production

A bipartisan bill in the U.S. Senate would streamline the permitting process for more domestic phosphate and potash production.

Ed Thomas with The Fertilizer Institute says, “We certainly do see a need for permitting reform. This is just a first step.” Thomas tells Brownfield they’ve been trying to increase the domestic supply of fertilizer by pushing for government policy changes. “One of those is getting USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) to list phosphorus and potash as critical minerals, and what that does for the industry is it really just helps permitting, so it kind of streamlines the process so that it’s a little faster, potentially.”

Thomas tells Brownfield that naming phosphorus and potash as critical minerals would allow one government agency to walk the permit through the approval process and stop the back-and-forth approval process. “Instead of 10-15 years for a permit to work its way through the process, we’re hoping to get it down to at least half that.”

The U.S. Geological Survey publishes a list of over 50 critical minerals.  Supporters of the bill say this would help safeguard the nation’s food supply and lower fertilizer costs.

Lawmakers backing the bill include:

Thom Tillis (R-NC),

Sherrod Brown (D-OH),

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI),

Roger Marshall (R-KS),

Pete Ricketts (R-NE),

Rick Scott (R-FL)

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