Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency after a leak was detected in an old phosphate plant pond.
A pond in Tampa Bay stores water containing small amounts of radium and uranium.
Residents living near the reservoir were warned by text message asking for evacuation.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis A state of emergency was declared on Saturday after a leak was detected in an old phosphate plant pond in the Tampa Bay area that could lead to dangerous acidic floods.
Residents living near the old Piny Point Phosphate Mine near Tampa, north of Bradenton, Evacuate their home..Those who live within a radius of 0.5 miles from the reservoir Received text message alert Informed them on Saturday that the collapse was “imminent” The Guardian reported.
State officials said they first discovered the leak on Friday. It was on one wall of a 77-acre pond holding about 600 million gallons of water containing phosphorus, nitrogen, small amounts of radium and uranium.
The stack can also emit high concentrations of radon gas.
Manatee County Public Security Director Jake Saul warned that “a part of the leak site’s containment wall has moved laterally, indicating that structural collapse can occur at any time.” CBS News.
“We have declared a state of emergency in Manatee County so that resources can be allocated for the necessary response and recovery due to possible mixed saltwater breaches from the South Reservoir at the Piney Point facility,” said DeSantis. I tweeted on Saturday.
Authorities said they were most concerned about the floods that could be caused by the rupture, adding that the water discharged was “slightly acidic.” According to a statement released by Manatee County on Twitter.
“This water meets the water quality standards of seawater, except for pH, total phosphorus, total nitrogen and total ammonia nitrogen.” The statement said. “It’s slightly acidic, but not at the level you’d expect to be concerned about, and it’s not expected to be toxic.”
At a press conference on Sunday, DeSantis said he and other officials went on an “air tour” of the site to investigate it. He also said the crew continued to work to prevent “a truly catastrophic flood situation.”
“All response teams are coordinating to ensure proper response and risk mitigation,” he said.
Workers are desperately trying to figure out how to prevent an environmental catastrophe.
Authorities worked 24 hours a day on Saturday, pumping as much water as possible to minimize the impact of the potential flood. However, this process is time consuming and can take up to 12 days.
However, the governor ordered more pumps and cranes to transport to the area.
Some workers attempted to close the hole with rocks and other materials on Friday afternoon, but failed.
Manatee County Commissioner George Creuset said he had to leave the area immediately after visiting the factory on Saturday to assess the situation and discovering safety issues.
According to the Guardian, “We all decided that it was no longer safe to be near Pinney Point, so we all raced off the stack as soon as possible.”
According to local media reportsFor years, the inhabitants of this area have been trying to warn the old phosphate program.
The problem dates back to 1989. There, 23,000 gallons of sulfuric acid leaked from a storage tank near the pond, forcing hundreds of nearby residents to evacuate.
DeSantis emphasized at a press conference on Sunday that water quality is not a major concern.
“For us, the water quality problems that flow through this are less than the risks to the health and safety of everyone, especially for the people living in the area,” he said.
The governor also said that 316 homes near the area had been evacuated so far and safety notices were issued to businesses. Residents of the evacuation site can call 311 for temporary relocation assistance.
DeSantis also promised that HRK, the group responsible for maintaining the site, would be held accountable.
“This is unacceptable. This does not allow us to sustain,” he said.
Read the original article Business insider