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Environment

Piney Point Now Being Managed By An Independent Receiver

View of Piney Point
Manatee County Public Safety
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An independent receiver will take over management of the former Piney Point phosphate plant.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says it's to "ensure safe storage capacities" during the rainy season.

An independent receiver will take over management of the former Piney Point phosphate plant.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday the judge's order to hand over control of the plant as it is being shut down.

The state had asked the court to appoint an independent third party to take over day-to-day operations from owner HRK Holdings. The state says the company was failing to manage water on the site following a disastrous leak that sent more than 200 million gallons of contaminated water into Tampa Bay.

A statement from the state says action is needed now as summer rains are filling the reservoirs that sit atop stacks of phosphogypsum, which is a somewhat radioactive byproduct of fertilizer production.

"DEP will continue performing its stringent regulatory oversight of the facility to ensure the closure of Piney Point," the statement read. "The priority remains to pursue all available water management tools to ensure safe storage capacities for the remainder of the rainy season."

The company that will take over operations at the plant has not been publicly named.

The DEP will continue regulatory oversight of the facility.

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