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Live Updates: A Indication of”Confident” Progress at Piney Point, However Situation Remains Critical

“After a preliminary meeting on developments at Piney Point with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Emergency Management, Manatee County Public Safety officials believe sure to re-open U.S. 41 Highway,” the county’s Public Safety Department tweeted Tuesday morning.
What You Want To Know
Wastewater reservoir escape at Piney Point plant threatens to flooding homes, damage environment

The water Comprises high levels of nitrogen, which can cause algae blooms in Tampa Bay

Crews are pumping millions of gallons to the bay to prevent an uncontrolled collapse

Countless homes have been evacuated across the phosphate plant

Officials warned of risk of 20-foot walls of water, but officials said uncontrolled release has stopped

? Resources for affected residents and business owners

? Timestamped updates on the Piney Point leak

There is not a second escape as briefly feared on Monday at the older phosphate gypsum plantlife. It looks like U.S. 41 will re-open soon.
As stated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the concern of another escape came from a spurt of wastewater forcing an extra tens of thousands of gallons per day to Piney Point Creek, that links to Tampa Bay.
This day, say Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried is place to be onsite for an upgrade.
Meanwhile, 26 new pumps have been brought in, and 10 vacuum trucks, to accelerate the emptying procedure even more.
At last check, there have been less than 300 million gallons remaining from the reservoir. Along with also the DEP is analyzing water quality at 11 unique places around Port Manatee. Authorities say the water is not radioactive and passes quality standards.

Still, the water will not include both phosphorus and magnesium, making it acidic and potentially harmful.
Congressman Vern Buchanan says some thing ought to have been done sooner
“I need the very best and the brightest on the ground,” said Rep. Buchanan, whose district covers the region. “This really is something which might have been dealt with over the years. I’m not seeking to evaluate any blame or anything else”
PREVIOUS STORY:
Within a around-the-clock race to save countless homes and avert an environmental catastrophe, crews are planting hundreds of millions of gallons of wastewater in a leaking reservoir at an older phosphate gypsum plant before it collapses.
After days of fears of a plant meltdown, Manatee County officials said before Monday they were convinced the risk to neighborhoods nearby Piney Point can be elimintated at 48 hours if 20 more pumps might be brought on line.
By Monday evening, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection stated the”uncontrolled discharge to Piney Point Creek has ceased” and that reports of another escape were”unsubstantiated.”
“When the extra pumps come on the internet, we are likely to twice the volume of water which we are pulling out of that retention swimming pool,” Acting County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes said Monday.
This was welcome news for the men and women who have been driven from their homes, but the solution has been far from ideal.

Environmental Impacts
It’s elevated levels of nitrogen and adware and can be also acidic, the agency says. That water has been pumped to Port Manatee that leads to Tampa Bay.
The EPA says an excessive amount of nitrogen from wastewater can induce harmful algae to grow faster and also cause fish kills.

Waste water being pumped out of Piney Point (Manatee County Commissioner Misty Servia)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) acquired a first-hand look in the helicopter.
“That is something, unfortunately, that might have been dealt with over time,” he said while stressing this is not the time to assign blame. Rather, he said the priority must be saving homes and maintaining marine life.
“This environmental crisis was made worse by the very fact that it was completely foreseeable and preventable,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “With 24 longer phosphogypsum stacks storing more than 1 billion tons of this hazardous, radioactive waste in Florida, the EPA should step in right now.”
Manatee County officials also have said the more than 300 million gallons of wastewater staying at Piney Point are not radioactive.
Residential Impacts
More than 300 homes have been evacuated. Officials cautioned that a complete collapse of this reservoir could send a 20-foot wall of wastewater into neighboring areas and companies.
On Monday afternoon, the Manatee County Public Safety Department stated on Twitter that more than 100 residents at the evacuation zone have been placed into resorts.
Resources and Information to Affected Residents

Homes near the Piney Plant web site could be overrun by a 20-foot wall of wastewater in the event the reservoir fails, officials stated.
Many residents, however, are opting not to flee – at least not yet.
“We are well ready to depart. I’ve got luggage packed and we can leave ” Her and her husband have two little children.
“Us being on top of this hill here, being raised you know, this is our dwelling. I believe that we are safe ,” she said”If it had to explode, I simply don’t believe it would quite reach us. I’d expect not, at the least.

Niki Flanery and her household are refusing to leave their house near the Piney Point phosphate plant regardless of an evacuation order (The Flanery household )
Earlier Updates
Twenty pumps have been deployed to the site to transfer the water to surrounding regions. With additional pumps in route, officials expect to double the number that they can pump out daily, which is approximately 70 million gallons per day.
Officials say that this will relieve strain on the violation, preventing a complete failure. If this were to take place, officials said the surrounding areas could see a 20-foot wall of water.
The county is currently running hourly flyovers of this site with drone cameras to test things.
About 720 inmates nevertheless remain at the centre and have been transferred to the top heights of the jail.
At Monday morning, officials said no news is great news, and with the controlled release of the water, they all expect to be in a much better position by Tuesday.
7:34 a.m. UPDATE:
The Manatee County School District has suspended all school bus transport inside the Piney Point Evacuation Zone to the length of the evacuation order.

Palmetto High School

Palmetto Elementary School

Palm View K-8

Harvey Elementary School

Tillman Elementart School

Lincoln Memorial Academy

Weekend Updates
7:10 p.m. Sunday:

A total of 345 inmates will be transferred as a way to free up bed space on the top level of the prison, MCSO public information officer Randy Warren said in an email.
“For safety purposes, we are not providing details right now about the transfer of inmates,” he said. “Sheriff Rick Wells and staff are still in continuous communication with officials on the situation. We are aren’t expecting more than a foot of water jail property, at the worst-case scenario.”
The release did not say how long officials expected the inmates’ move to survive.
About 720 inmates will remain in the jail after the 345 are transferred.
2 p.m. Sunday: Controlled wastewater discharge is ongoing Sunday afternoon at the Piney Point phosphate plant, based on Manatee County officials. Manatee County Commission Chairman Vanessa Baugh said the danger stays but that officials are more comfy Sunday with maintenance attempts than 24 hours before.
Additional pumps have been set up and expected to make a significant difference at the danger of a complete breach of this reservoir.
Additionally, Baugh stressed there are no dangers to drinking water in the region.
For the latest information on the Piney Point facility, go to mymanatee.org/pineypoint.
Earlier Sunday
After a tour through the Piney Point phosphate site Easter dawn, Gov. Ron DeSantis worried that work has been done to control the wastewater discharge, environmental issues have been addressed, and a permanent remedy to the issue will be pursued.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures during a news conference Sunday, April 4, 2021, at the Manatee County Emergency Management office at Palmetto.
Engineering teams and state and environmental officials continue to work on the developing breach and possible meltdown of a gypsum stack at the Piney Point phosphate site in Manatee County.
What began as a leak that motivated 10 to 15 homes to be evacuated dropped on Saturday as Florida ordered more than 300 homes to be evacuated and closed off several roadways close to the huge reservoir north west of Bradenton. Officials also have said a meltdown could be”imminent”
DeSantis arranged a state of emergency to Manatee County that expanded to Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
“What we are looking at now is attempting to prevent and respond to, if need be, is still a true catastrophic flooding scenario,” DeSantis said, adding that public health and security is the top priority, as well as minimizing any environmental impacts.
The governor said an extra 20 pumps and 10 vacuums have been brought in to keep from the controlled release of wastewater, about 35 million gallons per day. This really is crucial to avoid a full violation of this leaking Piney Point reservoir.
He encouraged citizens to follow evacuation orders from the areas influenced by the ongoing leak and said taxpayers can call 311 for info, follow @ManateeGov on Twitter or go to protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPoint for updates.
U.S. 41 stays closed from Buckeye Road to Moccasin Wallow Road.

“I did not know that has been not there,” he said. “Nobody said that I lived a mile from a toxic waste site.”
Allen worries that the contamination will put his family in danger.
“I’m drinking the water, my family is drinking this water, my creatures are drinking this water,” he said. “I need to learn what’s in it.”
While officials have said the water from the influenced retention pond meets environmental standards — and is not radioactive — Allen said he is still worried that the water might be more dangerous than they are letting on.
“I know that they said that particular pond is not the one that has the contaminants in it,” he said. “How do we know that? There are just three or four contaminant regions — how do we know cross-contamination has not occurred around?”
Together with the health issues which Allen has about the situation, he explained the leak will harm his pocket as well.
“I live here, not due to my property value, but that I dwell on a high-value house,” he said. “Now, with this, who is going to need to buy if I sell it? My property levels will return.”
Acting Manatee County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes explained the ongoing shuttle and pumping is to avoid a full breach.
“If we should have a full violation… at totality, at a period of seconds, the units, for in less than one hour, are as large as a 20-foot wall of water,” Hopes mentioned.
Water quality has been monitored, DeSantis said, including the wastewater is not radioactive. He said the major concern with the discharged water is the nutrients, mainly phosphorus and nitrogen.
The Senate added that the centre operator HRK Holdings will be held accountable for any stack failure and permanent answers to this centre’s ongoing difficulties are a priority.
Officials brought in rocks and substances to plug in the hole at the pond late Friday to Saturday, but the effort was unsuccessful.
There are more than 800 million gallons of toxic wastewater around the Piney Point site. The concern remains that a violation will trickle millions of gallons of this toxic water into the surrounding region.
The water has been a byproduct of the production of fertilizer from phosphate rock.
“It’s had a string and background of repeated escapes and breaches and discharges into Tampa Bay and this newest is the very alarming because it’s due to this public notice that’s forced the evacuation as well as the Senate to declare a state of emergency.”
Workers have been pumping thousands of gallons per minute at the site to bring the volume down in the event the pond bursts. Pumping the entire pond could take 10 to 12 days. Others have been working to chart the path to control the method by which the water flows from the pond to Tampa Bay.
Besides the state and local officials, the EPA, the National Guard and the Red Cross have officials on web site.