Florida residents located within a one of a phosphate processing plant in Manatee County were evacuated this weekend as officials warned that a pond containing radioactive wastewater could collapse “at any time,” according to CBS News.
“A portion of the containment wall at the leak site shifted laterally,” said Manatee Director of Public Safety Jake Saur, after the Piney Point processing plant developed a “significant leak” according to county officials cited by WTSP-TV. Saur said that a “structural collapse could occur at any time.” Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the area on Saturday.
On Friday, the Manatee County Public Safety Department sent out emergency evacuation notices to those living within a half-mile of the facility, only to expand the orders to those within one mile north, and half-mile south of the reservoir’s stacks of phosphogypsum – a radioactive fertilizer waste product left over when phosphate ore is processed into a fertilizer component.
Nearby stretches of highway were also closed to traffic according to the report.
Mandatory evacuations were extended an additional half mile west and one mile southwest of the site on Saturday evening. Manatee County Public Safety Department said that 316 households are within the full evacuation area. –CBS News
The closure of U.S. 41 will be expanded south from Buckeye Road to Moccasin Wallow Road. Moccasin Wallow Road will be closed west of 38th Avenue East. There are an estimated 316 households in the evacuation area. Those households will all receive an emergency alert to evacuate https://t.co/6roRskVV0d
— MCG Public Works (@PW_ManateeGov) April 3, 2021
“In addition to high concentrations of radioactive materials, phosphogypsum and processed wastewater can also contain carcinogens and heavy toxic metals,” said the Center for Biological Diversity in a Saturday statement. “For every ton of phosphoric acid produced, the fertilizer industry creates 5 tons of radioactive phosphogypsum waste, which is stored in mountainous stacks hundreds of acres wide and hundreds of feet tall.”- READ MORE
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