One example is Cronus Chemicals, which wants to build a $1.2 billion plant to manufacture nitrogen-based fertilizer in the 4,500-population town of Tuscola, Ill., which already has a large chemical plant near the proposed fertilizer site. Cronus said it would hire about 2,000 construction workers and 150 permanent employees, making it one of the largest local employers. At least 800,000 Americans in the U.S. already live within a mile of fertilizer storage sites that house potentially explosive ammonium nitrate. The plant in West housed 2,400 tons of the chemical.
Experts say it's the perfect time to bring fertilizer production back to the U.S., AP reports. Proposed plant sites are in Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and North Dakota, while existing factories in Iowa, Louisiana and Oklahoma could be expanded. Most of the proposed sites are near chemical facilities, "which were drawn by the same rail lines and other industrial infrastructure that are attractive to the fertilizer industry." (Read more)