Ramona Profile picture
4 Apr, 78 tweets, 56 min read
#Manatee County, Florida

pop. 322,833 (2010)

total area: 893 square miles
743 sq miles land, 150 sq miles water

county seat and largest city is Bradenton

9 Nov 2016

‘Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton: How #Manatee County Voted’

‘Manatee County voters overwhelmingly supported Republican Donald Trump in Tuesday's election.’

“Most counties in the Tampa Bay area went red in Tuesday's election.…”

“… #Manatee County voters also went red in the 2012 election. In that race, they favored Republican Mitt Romney by 55.65 percent to President Barack Obama's 43.22 percent”

21 March 2021

Nine Florida GOP websites showing Donald Trump as the winner of the 2020 election are:

#Manatee County GOP
St. Lucie County GOP
Palm Beach County GOP
Miami-Dade County GOP
Hillsborough County GOP
Walton County GOP
Osceola County GOP

21 Feb 2021

‘A Disgrace of Epic Proportions’

“I doubt anyone would argue that #Manatee County's per-capita ratio of shameful and/or embarrassing events is among the worst in the nation. Whether it's animal cruelty, government corruption …”

“… or even insurrection, we've made national and even international headlines. This week, however, we really outdid ourselves. …

the governor, some politically-connected developers, and our county commission chair seem to have conspired to ensure …”

“… to ensure that some of the richest and least at-risk members of our senior community were allowed to jump the line in order to receive what is supposed to be a lottery system for getting the COVID vaccine.”

#Manatee County
Red South

“The Republican heartland of Florida also spreads from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf, covering some of the same media markets as the I-4 corridor. It just doesn’t vote the same way. The towns that run from #Manatee County to the Keys are …”

“… The towns that run from #Manatee County to the Keys are whiter and generally wealthier than the rest of the state; Sen. Rick Scott launched his political career from a multimillion-dollar home in Naples that includes its own boathouse.”

“Almost from the beginning, #PineyPoint has been plagued by problems. Reports from the 1960s are highlighted by fish kills and cattle poisonings. The '70s and '80s were marked by fines for air and water pollution, culminating in a 1989 …”

1989 sulfuric acid spill that caused hundreds of people to evacuate the area. In 1991, three workers died in separate industrial accidents. …

In the mid-1960s, county officials approached the phosphate industry about building the plant near Port #Manatee. …”

“… Even though the nearest phosphate mine was miles away, building a chemical processing plant adjacent to the port would make it easy to ship fertilizer almost anywhere in the world.”

#Manatee County, Florida
‘Tampa Bay stares down environmental disaster from #PineyPoint phosphate plant’

“The old phosphate plant site, in operation from the 1960s until 2001, holds stacks of phosphogypsum, a byproduct of fertilizer production, & large pools of polluted water…”

“… A leak was discovered in the 77-acre process water pond last week.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said draining it was the only way to prevent ‘a containment failure and catastrophic release.’”

#Manatee County
"What has been occurring in the past 12 hours is there are a number of small breaches in addition to what we believe is a significant leak at the bottom of the retention pond, and that is the reason for the emergency permit to allow HRK to…”

#Manatee County residents living near the former #PineyPoint fertilizer processing plant were evacuated Saturday because of serious concerns a collapse of the walls holding hundreds of million gallons of polluted industrial wastewater at the complex …”

“The notice now extends west to U.S. 41, and covers the neighborhoods one mile north of the gypsum stack, which is on the brink of collapse if the latest leak is not stopped.”

“workers found a ‘concentrated seepage’ Friday on the eastern wall of the gypstack system. On Friday evening, the rate of water flowing out was estimated at 200 gallons per minute, prompting the initial evacuation notice. Hopes said Saturday that …”

“… that efforts to fortify the wall and plug the ‘breach’ had failed. …

“‘The attempt was to plug the hole in the dam. When they reached a point where they were about to celebrate’ Hopes said, ‘then it blew through.’”

‘Plastic liner known to be in poor shape before #PineyPoint leak, records show’

‘looming environmental disaster is not the #Manatee County property’s first.’

“The old plant contains not just wastewater ponds but stacks of phosphogypsum, a material…”

“… a material monitored for its radioactivity.

Regulators fear those heaps, stout above Florida’s flatlands, could break apart under pressure from leaking water, leading to an uncontrolled discharge. …”

“…Responsibility for the dangerous waste at #PineyPoint has been passed around over the decades from a private company, to the state then back to another private company. All the while, polluted water and phosphogypsum has lingered as a risk to the bay.”

“Officials fear the leak could give way to an uncontrolled breach & cause a rush of toxic pollutants to discharge into #TampaBay causing a major environmental disaster.

If the gypsum stack can't hold, officials predict approx. 700-800 million gallons…”

‘Florida Gov. DeSantis declares a state of emergency for Tampa-area water waste issue’

“leak that could cause a collapse of phosphogypsum stacks, waste that is created during fertilizer production and phosphate rock mining.”

“The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says a break was detected Friday in one of the walls of a 77-acre pond that has a depth of 25 feet and holds millions of gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen from an old phosphate plant.”

“…In 2016, more than 200 million gallons of contaminated wastewater from another fertilizer plant in central Florida leaked into one of the state's main aquifers after massive sinkhole opened up in a pond of a phosphogypsum stack

There are at least 70 gypsum stacks in the US…”
‘The #EPA needs to crack down on ‘gyp stacks’’

“There are now more than 70 of these gyp stacks in the United States, with almost half in Florida, on top of our sinkhole-prone, just-barely-above-sea-level terrain. …”

“… Phosphogypsum and process wastewater are produced from the processing of strip-mined phosphate ore into phosphoric acid, a fertilizer component. For every ton of phosphoric acid produced, you get five tons of #phosphogypsum.”

“… #PineyPoint, the gyp stack in #Manatee County, has a long history of toxic wastewater releases to Bishop’s Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. Also a leftover of a bankrupt company, this stack has been a disaster waiting to happen.”

#Phosphate is typically used to create fertilizer but can also be turned into phosphoric acid, used in some types of animal feed and some cosmetics.

About 90% of domestic production happens in the southern U.S. with Florida accounting for 80% of that.”

“Since 2015, the U.S. has been the third-largest producer of phosphorite, a phosphate-rich rock used in the production of fertilizer.

… Florida and North Carolina produced over 75% of total domestic output of phosphate rock with phosphorus pentoxide …”

‘Radioactive Material From Fertilizer Production’

#Phosphate rock mining is the fifth largest mining industry in the United States in terms of the amount of material mined. The phosphate industry is concentrated in the southeastern United States. …”

“…About 90% of #phosphate is mined in Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee. …

Because wastes are concentrated, phosphogypsum is more radioactive than the original phosphate rock.

The waste that is created during fertilizer production is stored in large piles called stacks.”
“There are currently about 1 billion tons of phosphogypsum stacked in 24 stacks in Florida and about 30 million new tons are generated each year.

The scenarios upon which EPA banned widespread phosphogypsum use concerned using it in road construction …”

“… road construction and agriculture.

… the market for the phosphogypsum generated by the chemical processing of phosphate rock has traditionally been limited. It has traditionally been piled on land. This was the least expensive way to deal with the by-product…”

“Phosphogypsum is a by-product of the phosphates industry. Produced in significant quantities, the material is considered a waste in the US due to radioactivity, where the primary means of management is storage in ‘stacks.’ …”

“…For every ton of phosphoric acid produced, around 5 tons of phosphogypsum are produced, a substantial source of industrial waste, especially given in the context that phosphatic fertilizer production is constantly rising in an effort to feed the exploding world population.”
“DeSantis is expected to give an update on the leak at 11am Sunday from the #Manatee County Emergency Center.”

“In the event of a catastrophic failure, DeSantis ordered every county in the state to prepare for a possible influx of evacuees.”

“Until the 1950s, fertilizer manufacturing facilities were relatively small and produced fertilizers tailored to the soil needs of area farmers, commonly within a 100-mile radius. … But this began to change when domestic agriculture and industry, as …”

“…as well as European and Western Pacific markets devastated in World War II, increasingly requested these nutrients. …

Florida produces approximately 75% of the phosphate rock mined in the U.S. Phosphate rock is no longer sold for direct fertilizer manufacture.”

“Today phosphate mining occurs primarily in the central Florida area (Polk, Hillsborough, #Manatee and Hardee counties). The central Florida phosphate mining region covers approximately 1.3 million acres of land known as the ‘Bone Valley.’”

“Phosphoric acid is primarily used for agricultural chemical fertilizers. In a national enforcement effort, EPA has focused on compliance in the phosphoric acid industry because of the high risk of releases of acidic wastewaters at these facilities …”

“… which can cause groundwater contamination and fish kills. …

If not properly managed, these facilities pose a high risk to human health and the environment. Since 2003, EPA has been investigating a total of twenty #phosphoric acid facilities in seven states.”

“The Bone Valley is a region of central Florida, encompassing portions of present-day Hardee, Hillsborough, #Manatee, and Polk counties, in which #phosphate is mined for use in the production of agricultural fertilizer. Florida currently contains the …”

“… Florida currently contains the largest known deposits of #phosphate in the United States. …

The majority of phosphate mining in Florida is done in the Peace River watershed.”

‘Florida’s frightening #phosphate problem’

“More than half of all domestically sourced phosphate is mined in Florida, by an industry with a record of contaminating the environment through radioactive waste leakage and water pollution that threatens …”

“… Florida's groundwater resources. Now there are plans to tear up more than 50,000 additional acres of central Florida with harmful strip-mining practices — and no plan to address the radioactive #phosphogypsum stacks that have already been created.”

‘EPA abdicates regulation of gypsum stacks’

“You may have heard of #PineyPoint, a gypsum stack in #Manatee County that has a history of toxic wastewater releases to Bishop’s Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. Also a leftover of a bankrupt company, this …”

“… Also a leftover of a bankrupt company, this stack is a disaster waiting to happen.

The EPA has abdicated its responsibility to regulate this stuff as hazardous waste, leaving management to the states, with disastrous results.”

‘Eaters of the earth: How the #fertilizer industry leaves a trail of destruction across the American South’

“It’s a process that produces plenty of wealth: The ‘marketable product’ produced by U.S. phosphate mines was valued at $1.8 billion in 2018. …”

“… It also results in plenty of waste.

… Today, nearly all the food consumed by Americans begins on farms where the soil is treated with commercially produced fertilizers. …

‘700 square miles of Florida are lost to this industry… That’s half the size of Rhode Island’”
‘The Clock is Ticking on Florida’s Mountains of Hazardous #Phosphate Waste’

“while phosphate provides plenty of paying jobs, boosts America’s crop yields and fill the campaign coffers of numerous Florida politicians, it’s also seeded Florida with the …”

“…environmental equivalent of ticking time bombs.

from time to time, a problem crops up at one of the gyp stacks. Then the pond pooled on top spills out & threatens to poison a creek, a bay, or drinking water for miles around. The phosphate industry’s benign image cracks apart”
“FDEP has yet to complete a comprehensive, statewide assessment plan on Florida's existing two dozen or more #phosphogypsum stacks. These stacks remain as a toxic legacy of the #phosphate industry.  …”

“…The #GypStacks at #PineyPoint represent the true legacy the #phosphate industry will leave behind in Florida. There is no economically feasible or environmentally sound way to close an abandoned #phosphogypsum stack.”

“The name of the plant was #PineyPoint. The peril came from the hundreds of millions of gallons of acidic wastewater held in large ponds atop two #gypsum stacks that loomed near the edge of #TampaBay.

…The DEP allowed Piney Point’s bankruptcy trustee…”

“…to sell it for $4.3 million in 2006 to HRK Holdings LLC.

#HRK’s plan was to turn the land into a storage terminal for companies using the port. … In 2011, a DEP official told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that the site was now a ‘success story’.”

“In 2016, more than 200m gallons of contaminated waste water from another #fertilizer plant in central Florida leaked into one of the state’s main #aquifers after a massive sinkhole opened up in a pond of a #phosphogypsum stack.”

“The pond, also known as a gypsum stack, has already discharged at least 25 million gallons of polluted water at Port #Manatee

The contaminated runoff will make its way to Bishop Harbor, which is part of the Terra Ceia Aquatic Buffer Preserve”

“Nobody checked for sinkholes back in the 1960s when the #phosphate #fertilizer industry started piling up its toxic refuse into giant mounds.…

The manufacturing process concentrates toxins such as acids & radionuclides, which sit in the gypstackacks…”

“…which sit in the gypstacks for decades. …

It doesn’t inspire great confidence, however, he said, if the #gypstacks were built in the wrong place to begin with.”

#Phosphate mining is a major industry in Florida, but it’s also a major source of pollution, responsible for red tide, toxic algal blooms and killing wildlife.

… And the only way to extract vast quantities of phosphate is through strip mining.”

30 June 2012

#HRK Holdings files bankruptcy over #PineyPoint expenses’

“… as a result of expenses incurred in a gypsum stack liner leak last year in #Manatee County.”

“HRK also has filed suit against the engineers, consultants and contractors that…”

‘A worst case at #PineyPoint? 20-foot wall of water. DeSantis tours site, stresses safety’

“A total breach that spurts out uncontrolled water could also destabilize #gypsum stacks containing radioactive material.”

‘Additional pumps brought to #PineyPoint to assist in controlled water release, prevent ‘catastrophic failure’’

“Officials say 2-3 million gallons of water per day have been flowing through a leak in a containment wall for the past week. …”

“…A controlled release of water began on March 30 at a rate of 35 million gallons per day. The additional pumps will help pump 23,500 gallons of water per minute, or 33 million gallons of water per day into Tampa Bay at Port #Manatee.…

there are 340 million gallons remaining”
“‘This is the problem with mining in general,’ he said. ‘We like the products, but when the companies that mine this stuff go out of business, who owns the waste products? And that is an excellent question.’”

#Manatee County Florida
‘Potential second leak identified in central Florida wastewater reservoir’

“investigating a potential second leak … Saur said an infrared drone had spotted activity north of the initial leak, which was being assessed.”

‘Florida reservoir breach is 'under control now': Catastrophic flooding fears ease, but environmental concerns remain’

‘With #PineyPoint pond half-empty, crews stop dumping wastewater into bay’

“In all, the DEP says 215 million gallons of wastewater were pumped into Tampa Bay, while 223 million gallons remain in the holding pond.”

‘Crews working around the clock trying to use steel patch to stop leak at #PineyPoint

“Using submersible cameras, dive teams brought in by the Florida [DEP] found exactly where the rupture is. That rupture is several feet in length”

‘Feds cited risks and high cost of DEP #PineyPoint plan years before breach’

“ignored concerns from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about pumping seawater & dredge material into the now-breached stack

issues that seem prophetic nearly 13 years later.”

“‘… The #gypsum stack itself is not an engineered structure,” the report stated. “The #GypsumStack itself contains hazardous and toxic material. There is documentation of past slope stability and piping issues experienced at the site.”

#PineyPoint ‘is managed by a holding company with insufficient assets to manage an accidental spill’ and that such a spill could create ‘an overwhelming environmental impact.’ …

This is exactly the kind of longstanding #infrastructure issue we need …”

“‘… This is exactly the kind of longstanding #infrastructure issue we need to address with the nonrecurring federal funds our state will receive from the American Rescue Plan.’”

‘Florida Senate approves $3 million for #PineyPoint cleanup’

‘It’s the first step toward potentially spending $200 million on the permanent cleanup and closure of the site.’

‘Wastewater from #PineyPoint has Tampa Bay on edge for possible red tide, algae bloom’

“The new environmental crisis comes as the region continues to recover from the prolonged 2018 red tide bloom that choked miles of Florida's coast, killing a …”

‘FCN Investigates: Could a leak similar to #PineyPoint happen in Northeast Florida?’

‘Many of the #dams in Northeast Florida are more than 50 years old like the one at Piney Point, according to the National Inventory of Dams.’


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