MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - ABC7 has learned that Manatee County Commissioners are in an emergency meeting over the situation with the former phosphate plant at Piney Point.
Commissioner Kevin VanOstenbridge told ABC7′s Zackery White that the situation appears to be worsening, but no other details were immediately available.
Crews discovered a leak last week and have been actively monitoring water capacity at the former phosphate mining site. HRK Holdings, LLC, is responsible for the operation of the closed phosphogypsum stacks, and they self-reported after finding a tear in one of the compartments. The leak, it was determined, could cause a dangerous collapse of the gypsum stacks on site. Commissioners declared a local state of emergency.
UPDATE: Evacuations of residents in the area began at about 6 p.m.