"A group of environmental and union organizations on Friday challenged a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy that would allow phosphogypsum wastes that contain small amounts of radioactivity to be used in federal, state and local road construction projects.
Phosphogypsum is the waste left behind when phosphate rock is crushed and treated to create phosphoric acid for the manufacture of fertilizers and other products. Louisiana is a leading producer of the material, and figuring out what to do with it has been a vexing problem for years.
The white-colored material, which looks like the clean gypsum used in wallboard, contains measurable quantities of radium, uranium, thorium, radon, and a variety of toxic heavy metals."
Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune December 18, 2020.