‘No community should suffer this’: Florida’s toxic breach was decades in the making – by Paola Rosa-Aquino (The Guardian – April 11, 2021)


It’s been a week since a significant leak at a long-abandoned fertilizer plant in the Tampa Bay area threatened the surrounding groundwater, soil, and local water supplies.

Last weekend, officials ordered more than 300 families living near the 676-acre Piney Point plant site in Manatee county to evacuate. The sheriff even emptied out his jail’s first floor of inmates in case a “20-foot wall of water” came rolling their way.

By Monday, local officials said they thought the crisis had been averted; they lifted evacuation orders on Tuesday afternoon. But what they meant was that imminent catastrophe had been postponed.

The long-term, slow-moving crisis of toxicity, decades in the making, remains – and is echoed at dozens of radioactive ponds across the state.

“We’re nowhere near out of the woods yet on this – there’s a long way to go,” says Glen Compton of ManaSota-88, an environmental non-profit that has been urging officials for decades to do something about the industrial waste pile.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/apr/11/florida-piney-point-fertilizer-plant-toxic-leak