Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Ron DeSantis) declared a state of emergency on Saturday due to a major leak in the wastewater storage tank, which could cause flooding and disrupt the system for storing radioactive materials.
Florida officials are evacuating houses and highways near a large reservoir in the northern Bradenton area. The Red Cross has been asked to help.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said a crack was found in the wall of a 77-acre pond at the Old Pine Point Phosphate Plant last Friday.
The pond contains millions of gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen.
The Tampa Bay Times stated that the pond contained approximately 480 million gallons of wastewater before the company’s pond began to discharge some of its wastewater into Manatee Port this week. By early Thursday, at least 25 million gallons had been discharged.
The Piney Point Phosphate Plant is also home to many phosphogypsums, which are waste products from the manufacture of fertilizers, which are radioactive and contain small amounts of naturally occurring radium and uranium. The chimney can also release high concentrations of ra gas.
Officials worry that the collapse of the system could spray sewage and more harmful substances into the area and the bay.
State and local staff worked overnight to reinforce the loopholes, but residents within half a mile of the pond received an alert via text message that they would leave the area immediately because the “pine tree corner pile”
Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse said he was at the plant with other officials on Saturday and must clean up the area quickly.
Cruise said in a Facebook video: “At that time we were sure that it was no longer safe near Piney Point, so we all ran out of the stack as quickly as possible.”
He said that officials will explain what they observed later.