PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - The story of Piney Point has been ongoing for more than a decade, punctuated by inaction, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says it’s not OK.
“There’s been a lot of balls that have been dropped in the process,” said Fried. “I emphasized significantly that it’s not enough to be patching this up, what’s the plan to fix this moving forward so that this doesn’t happen again?”
The cleanup and closure of Piney Point could cost $200 million. A portion of the money would be covered by funding from the federal government and the rest from local taxpayers.
“This is private property we didn’t create this mess yet we, the taxpayers, are rushing in to fix this,” said State Sen. Janet Cruz.
Cruz and Fried say HRK Holdings, the company that owns the property, will see consequences.
But beyond just this site, Fried says the state may not be doing enough to prevent these issues and a deep dive is needed.
“Create better regulations, more oversight, more accountability, and really take a look if is this the appropriate process, to begin with, at these mining lands,” said Fried.
As for the deep well injection option that has been tossed around for Piney Point, Fried says it’s concerning especially with the Everglades in such close proximity.