D.E.P. secretary onsite and providing real-time updates on Piney Point

D.E.P. secretary onsite and providing real-time updates on Piney Point
A reported and regulated wastewater spill is going into the Tampa Bay from Piney Point through Port Manatee and into the bay. (Source: wwsb)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Governor DeSantis issued a State of emergency for Manatee County on Saturday afternoon because of an imminent collapse at south reservoir at the Piney Point facility. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.P.) secretary, Noah Valenstein was onsite at the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center where he was providing real-time updates on the state’s response efforts.

Secretary Noah Valenstein’s statement:

“The department’s top priority at this time is the protection of public health and safety. As a result of the State of Emergency declared by Governor Desantis Saturday, this will ensure resources are available for response and recovery.

Our first response activities are focused on ensuring releases are controlled and stopped as quickly as possible. We will then focus on our regulatory review and enforcement.

I assure you that DEP is dedicated to full enforcement for any damages to our state’s resources and holding HRK accountable for this event. We are completing rigorous water quality sampling daily to support any future enforcement action. While this water meets most water quality standards for marine waters, there are elevated levels of nutrients and the water is acidic. However, the water is not radioactive. We are committed to working with Manatee County and utilizing all available resources to determine a permanent solution to this long-standing issue.”

For the latest information on the status of the site and response activities, residents can click here.

And for information on public safety and evacuation guidance in the area, click here.

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