MOXEE, WA - A zinc fertilizer plant in Moxee made headlines 15 years ago when it was accused of ducking hazardous waste disposal rules. The plant is still in business and is expanding after cleaning up and making changes to comply with state regulations.
The former Bay Zinc company is now known as Kronos Micronutrients. Instead of smelter flue dust and burned tires, it now uses a byproduct of steel galvanizing to make fertilizer.
A state Ecology Department hazardous waste manager, Brian Dixon, says the byproduct is not considered hazardous and only minor infractions have been found at the plant.
Small amounts of zinc are needed for plant health, and apples and other tree fruit are sensitive to zinc deficiencies.