Piney Point Links

SCWK Links in reference to Piney Point




By Craig Pittman April 6, 2021  PALMETTO, Fla. — The Piney Point phosphate plant opened near the shores of Tampa Bay in 1966 and only a year later was caught dumping pollution that tainted some of the bay's most popular fishing grounds... Over the years, state and local governments have been reluctant to take the steps that would resolve the trouble with Piney Point. But this latest near-calamity may finally push them to act. Even as they continue pumping wastewater from the reservoir to relieve the pressure on its weakened walls, officials are reviving a controversial cleanup proposal and suggesting an of-the-moment way to pay for it...

Former commissioner Joe McClash, who is now chairman of the Suncoast Waterkeeper environmental group, is no more convinced today. “The problem with these deep wells is you just don’t know where things will pop up in a generation or so,” he said Tuesday. “It’s just like the thinking that got us into this situation to begin with. If people knew then what we know now, they would never have built that plant where they did.”

Craig Pittman -April 6, 2021 - Even if you live outside of Florida, you’ve probably heard of Tampa Bay. It’s a popular, if if somewhat vague, sports team “location.” The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning play in Tampa, but the World Series also-ran Tampa Bay Rays play in St. Petersburg (at least for now).

There’s also a real Tampa Bay, a 400-square-mile body of water that separates Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. It’s the state’s largest estuary, meaning it’s full of fish and crabs and seagrass and dolphins and manatees, not to mention seabirds of every kind.

And right now, they’re all facing a potential disaster.

April 1, 2021
Manager says ‘there will likely be impacts in Tampa Bay’ from wastewater releases.

Piney Point Leak Leads to Emergency Release

March 31, 2021
Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued an emergency order authorizing the release of up to 480 million gallons of wastewater from the Piney Point phosphogypsum stack and ponds into a channel at Port Manatee in order to avoid the imminent threat of an even more catastrophic release of wastewater.

Phosphogypsum stacks, toxic ponds, leaks and spills - unfortunately, Manatee County has it all - Daily Kos

By now, you must all be aware of the potential disaster unfolding in Manatee County, Florida, where an imminent breach at the industrial waste site at Piney Point threatens to spill hundreds of millions of toxic water in surrounding communities and environmentally sensitive areas. Evacuation orders and road closure notices have been issued, while engineers race to make repairs and to pump millions of gallons of water out of the toxic pond and release it into Tampa Bay.

Organizations monitoring impact of Piney Point discharge on Tampa Bay

“To hear something like this and to know the nitrogen level is so high it’s devastating. All of that work the past 30, 40 years we’ve put into you know restoring the bay and bring to as beautiful as it is today can all be gone in a week,” said Captain Dustin Pack, a board member of Tampa Bay Waterkeeper. The nonprofit fights for clean and safe water, including through legal means and community action. On Tuesday, Pack and others took a boat to Port Manatee to get a first-hand look of the water and document the seagrass.

Port Manatee, HRK violated dredging contract without insurance policy 

Aug. 05--PALMETTO -- Port Manatee and HRK Holdings LLC were in violation of their contract when the first drop of toxic water entered the dredging reservoirs last year at Piney Point, records show. The quasi-government agency and HRK disregarded a mandate to obtain $2 million worth of liability insurance, a joint policy that was to be funded equally between both parties, according to documents obtained by the Bradenton Herald.