Residents and environmentalists share relief at news that Piney Point will be shutting down

Residents and environmentalists share relief at news that Piney Point will be shutting down
Piney Point (Source: DEP)

PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - People who live around Piney Point are happy to hear the news about the site. Environmentalists, too.

“That’s always frustrating, that it takes a disaster to raise the consciousness of the community,” said Justin Bloom with Suncoast Waterkeeper. “And to get it onto the radar of elected officials, legislators and regulators.”

Bloom says it’s better late than never. At a news conference Tuesday morning at Piney Point, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced plans will be created to completely shut down the former phosphate processing facility, where contaminated water was leaking.

“It needs to be done,” said Bloom. “I’m glad to hear the commitment from the governor and the secretary, it should’ve been done a long time ago. I’m glad to see them saying very clearly that they’re going to close the site.”

Some residents say this site has been a concern now for around two decades. They tell ABC7 there won’t be total relief until this site is shut down, but residents are happy to see this big step in the right direction.

“It’s one of those things, it’s like a ticking time bomb,” said Jim Eisele. “It’s long overdue, but I’m glad to see that hopefully they’ll do a good clean up on it and it won’t cause any problems in the future for residents and businesses.”

Residents and environmentalists are also happy to hear that the water from the phoshogypsum stack will be treated, just in case another discharge happens.

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