Crews Keep Work on Piney Point Leak, Possible Collapse As Governor To Satisfy Officials
MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Engineering teams and environmental and state officials continue to function on the developing breach and potential collapse of a gypsum pile in the Piney Point phosphate site in Manatee County.What started as a leak that prompted 10-15 houses to be evacuated escalated on Saturday since Florida ordered more than 300 houses to be evacuated and closed off several roadways Saturday near the large reservoir north of Bradenton. Officials also have said a meltdown may be”imminent.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis arranged a State of Emergency to Manatee County that later expanded to Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
Everything You Want To Know
Crews continue work on potential collapse of gypsum pile at Piney Point center in Manatee County
Evacuations, street closures stay near Piney Point phosphogypsum stacks
WATCH LIVE coverage of Gov. DeSantis news conference at 11 a.m.
More: Advice on the escape from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The Senate is currently traveling to Manatee County Sunday to speak with local officials regarding the potential collapse. He’ll give an update at 11 a.m. from the Manatee County Emergency Center.
He urged residents to follow evacuation orders from the areas influenced by the continuing leak.
The close of U.S. 41 will soon be expanded south off Buckeye Road to Moccasin Wallow Road.
Crews continue to address the leak, potential collapse of a gypsum pile in the Piney Point phosphate centre. (Sky 9)
Officials introduced in rocks and substances to plug in the hole at the pond late Friday into Saturday, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
There are more than 800 million gallons of toxic waste water in the Piney Point site. The concern remains that a breach will spill a large number of the toxic water into the surrounding area.
The water is a byproduct of generation of fertilizer from phosphate rock. It’s acidic and slightly radioactive along with the piles have long been a source of controversy among environmentalists.
“It has had a series and history of repeated leaks and breaches and discharges into Tampa Bay and this most recent is the most alarming since it’s due to this public opinion that’s forced the evacuation and the governor to declare a state of emergency.”
Employees have been pumping out thousands of liters per minute in the site to bring down the volume in case the pond bursts. Pumping the whole pond would take 10 to 12 days. Others have been working to chart the path to control the way the water flows from the pond into the Tampa Bay.
In addition to the state and local officials, the EPA will have representatives on site also Sunday.