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Phosphate processing plants in the greater Tampa Bay region have caused some of Florida's worst environmental disasters. Accidents like the spill at the former Piney Point plant fill the history books in Florida.

State Gives Manatee Draft Permit For Deep Well Injection Of Piney Point Water

Construction crews atop the Piney Point gypstack
Fl. Department of Environmental Protection
Construction crews atop the Piney Point gypstack labor to seal the breach on May 16.

Members of the public can submit written comments about the proposal and attend a public meeting on Oct. 6 in Bradenton.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has given initial approval to a Manatee County plan to inject treated water from the Piney Point phosphate plant into a well.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to submit written comments on the draft permit over the next 30 days. A public meeting to discuss the proposal will take place on October sixth in Bradenton.

Manatee County commissioners applied for the permit to build the injection system in April, after a leak in one of the reservoirs forced the release of more than 200 million gallons of contaminated water into Tampa Bay.

Officials have struggled to determine what to do with the remaining water, which sits in several ponds atop stacks of phosphogypsum, a toxic byproduct produced during the processing of phosphate.

Environmental groups have concerns that injecting water into the ground could contaminate Florida's aquifer.

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