Permit approved to drain polluted Piney Point into the aquifer
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has approved a permit for a well that would drain the polluted water at the old Piney Point phosphate plant deep underground, into the Lower Floridian Aquifer, the Bradenton Herald reports.
Flashback: The former phosphate processing plant has long been an environmental disaster.
- Earlier this year, site operators discovered that one of the contaminated ponds was leaking, forcing the state to dump 215 million gallons into Tampa Bay so the pond walls wouldn't collapse.
What they're saying: "This project is one critical element of the necessary water disposal that will enable the ultimate closure of the Piney Point facility once and for all, eliminating the threat from this site to the environment and the community permanently," FDEP said in a statement.
Yes, but: Critics say the solution, first considered in 2013 and then rejected, might make things worse.
- "Maybe instead of 'the Sunshine State,' we should call ourselves the 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind State' because that seems to be the reasoning behind parking millions of gallons of various kinds of pollution underground and hoping it doesn't get loose," wrote environmental journalist Craig Pittman.
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