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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking at a press conference in Miami on April 8. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Tuesday he directed the state's Department of Environmental Protection to develop a plan to permanently close the wastewater reservoir at Piney Point phosphate plant that recently threatened to cause a catastrophic environmental disaster, according to AP.

Why it matters: The governor said that $15.4 million in agency funds will be used to treat the water, which contains waste from the phosphate production that can cause algae blooms and fish kills and eventually impact the food chain if introduced into the environment in large amounts.

Context: A series of worsening breaches was discovered in late March in the huge holding pool, setting off evacuation orders for more than 300 homes, businesses and farms in the area.

  • Emergency management officials were able to avoid a full-on collapse of the reservoir by pumping the water from the pond into Tampa Bay to relieve pressure on the breaches and reinforcing the outside of the pond to try to slow seepage.

What they're saying: “We want this to be the last chapter of the Piney Point story,” DeSantis said Tuesday, according to AP.

The big picture: Noah Valenstein, secretary of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, said the state plans sue HRK Holdings, the company that bought the Piney Point property in 2006 and promised a cleanup.

  • Yes, but: HRK Holdings went bankrupt after another spill in 2011 and has said it can't pay the millions needed for the previous cleanup, let alone a lawsuit from the state.

Go deeper

Japan to release Fukushima water into sea

People near storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in 2020. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japan's government on Tuesday announced plans to release more than 1 million metric tons of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean following a treatment process.

Why it matters: While the Biden administration has said Japan appears to have met globally accepted nuclear safety standards, officials in South Korea, China and Taiwan, local residents, those in the fishing industry and green groups oppose the plans, due to begin in about two years, per the Guardian.

Top general: Calls to China were "perfectly within the duties" of job

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the Associated Press on Friday that calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump's presidency were "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job.

Why it matters: In his first public comments on the calls that have prompted critics to question whether the general went too far, Milley maintained that such conversations are "routine," per AP.

The consumer's massive "war chest"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Economists expect the pace of economic growth to cool off now that government transfer payments like stimulus checks and emergency unemployment benefits are in the rearview mirror. But evidence suggests that the U.S. consumer is sitting on a lot of financial firepower that could be a key driver of growth in the quarters to come.

Why it matters: U.S. consumer spending is massive, representing about 70% of GDP.