State Of Emergency, Evacuations In Florida County Over Wastewater Pond Leak

05 Avril, 2021, 19:05 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Radioactive wastewater leak prompts evacuation in Florida

Randy Warren, the Public Information Officer with Manatee County Sheriff's Office said in a written statement that they will be moving 345 inmates to a secure location to make room for the remaining 721 inmates in the upper level of the jail.

County officials say well water remains unaffected and there is no threat to Lake Manatee, the area's primary source of drinking water.

PHOTO: Rep. Will Robinson speaks during a press conference regarding a possible leak near the old Piney Point phosphate plant site in Palmetto, Fla., April 2, 2021.

How are local officials describing the situation?

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"The first floor will be vacant", Wells said. "But know- I am good with the plan".

Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said Sunday that the crisis was "entirely foreseeable and preventable" and cries out for immediate intervention by the federal government.

Officials had warned about the potential for the reservoir's collapse, flooding nearby areas.

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The water being discharged is mostly seawater from the Port Manatee dredge project, process water and storm water, officials said. The pond where the leak was found is in a stack of phosphogypsum, a radioactive waste product from the manufacture of fertiliser.

"For more than fifty years, this Central Florida mining operation has caused numerous human health and environmental disasters and incidents, including evacuations from sulfuric acid leaks, deaths of multiple employees, the release of more than 1 billion gallons of contaminated wastewater, and ongoing, regular gypsum stack and reservoir leaks from poor construction and maintenance that released heavy metals and pollutants into the region's water and soil", Fried writes. Throughout the day the volume had decreased to less than 300 million. The pond held about 480 million gallons last week.

County and state officials are now working to pump water out of the reservoir to reduce the quantity in the event of a breach.

Authorities have closed off portions of the U.S. Highway 41 and ordered evacuations of 316 homes.

"What we are looking at now is trying to prevent and respond to, if need be, a real catastrophic flood situation", Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday. Some families were placed in local hotels.

Officials said the 77-acre (31-hectare) reservoir holds millions of gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen from an old phosphate plant.

A significant leak at a large pond of wastewater threatened to flood roads and burst a system that stores polluted waters.

Declaring a state of emergency allowed funds to be released to send more pumps and cranes to the area.

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