Some Florida residents hesitate to leave during evacuation


Florida faces a catastrophe of “imminent” pollution from a phosphate mine pond

Millions of gallons of toxic wastewater pumped to Tampa Bay Governor de Santis on-site as a “20-foot wall of water” from an old Piny Point phosphate mine in Bradenton, Florida is feared. Photo: Tiffany Tompkins / AP workers pump millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater into ecologically sensitive Florida Bay on Sunday in an attempt to prevent the “imminent” collapse of an old phosphate mine reservoir. Was there. Manatee County officials have extended the evacuation zone overnight, and if the breach at the Piny Point Reservoir in the Tampa Bay area north of Bradenton cannot be repaired, up to 340 m gallons will be in the “20-foot water wall” area. Warned that it could swallow. An aerial photograph aired on local television showed water being poured from a leak in the wall of the regulating pond. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency after authorities warned of the “imminent collapse” of the pond. He toured the site by helicopter, and at a press conference said engineers were still blocking the breaks in the reservoir walls with rocks and other materials, and other mitigation efforts included a controlled release of 35 m gallons daily in Port Manatees. Said it was included. He said the State Environmental Protection Agency (DEP) has introduced 20 new pumps. “What we are looking at right now is trying to prevent the actual catastrophic flood situation and respond as needed,” said Desantis. “For us, the water quality problems that are about to arise are less than the risks to the health and safety of everyone, especially those who may live in the area.” The governor also said that water contains trace amounts of radioactive material. I tried to downplay the report that it was. “Water was tested before drainage [and] The main concern is nutrients, “he said. “Water meets water quality and seawater standards, with the exception of phosphorus and nitrogen,” said Scott Hopes, acting county manager, who remains with drainage despite the low population density. He warned that a sudden collapse of a 77-acre pond could overwhelm nearby areas, even if the amount of water in the water was reduced. “What if a complete breach occurs? We’re down to about 340m gallons, which can break the whole thing in minutes, and models in less than an hour are as much as a 20-foot water wall. Height. “So if you were in a shelter and didn’t notice that you had to think and obey orders.” Authorities moved the shelter from more than a dozen properties late Saturday. Spread to more than 300 homes. The Tampa Bay Times interviewed several residents who refused to leave. A local prison a mile away from the leaking pond had not been evacuated, but authorities had moved people and staff upstairs and placed sandbags on the first floor. According to Hope, the model showed that the area was covered with 1 to 5 feet of water and the second floor was 10 feet above the ground. Well water was unaffected and there was no threat to Lake Manatee, the region’s main source of drinking water, county officials said. Governor Ron DeSantis goes around Piney Point. Photo: twitter / AFP / Getty Images The abandoned phosphate mine pond is located in a pile of phosphorus gypsum, which is radioactive waste from fertilizer production. The pond contains small amounts of natural radium and uranium. The stack can also emit high concentrations of radon gas. Florida’s Agricultural Commissioner and the only elected Democrat in the state, Nikki Fried, warned of “environmental disasters” and described toxic water as “mixed salt water” in a tweet announcing a state of emergency. Emergency Ministerial Meeting in Desantis. “Floridian evacuated from her home on the Easter weekend. 480m gallons of toxic wastewater can flow into Tampa Bay, which can be an environmental disaster,” she said on Twitter. Environmental protection groups have warned that increased pollutants in Tampa Bay increase the risk to wildlife from outbreaks of toxic red tide algae. “Phosphate companies have spent more than 50 years finding ways to dispose of radioactive gypsum waste,” said activist group Manasota 88. “At this time, there are no federal, state, or local regulations requiring the industry to finalize phosphorus gypsum waste in an environmentally acceptable manner,” the group added in a statement: I did. It has never been allowed. At a press conference on Sunday, Hopes said his long-term goal was to completely pump and fill the three reservoirs on the premises. Later that day, he said the amount of water remaining in the reservoir is now less than 300 m gallons. .. The County Commission said it was more comfortable than before, although there was still the potential for a catastrophic collapse. “This may have been resolved more than 20 years ago,” Hope said. HRK Holdings, the owner of PineyPoint, purchased the site after being abandoned by Mulberry Corporation, which has been operating a phosphate plant for over 40 years. As long as 2003, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported that the walls of the reservoir had collapsed. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had previously approved the dumping of hundreds of millions of gallons of toxic water into the Gulf of Mexico. At a meeting of the Manatees Committee called on Thursday after the seriousness of the new leak was revealed, engineers pointed out the deterioration of the plastic liner decades ago in the pond. “The condition of the liner isn’t particularly good,” Mike Kelley, an engineer commissioned by HRK Holdings, told the meeting, the Times reported. “It’s old. There were some installation issues. There is a long documented history of that liner system having problems.” The newspaper examined the records and staff members July, October 2020, In December, we discovered that we recorded small holes and weaknesses in the plastic seams on the waterline. On Sunday, DeSantis said HRK would be held liable. The Associated Press contributed to the report