Florida DEP releases update on Piney Point

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 2:19 PM EST
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PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has released another update on the phosphogypsum stacks at Piney Point.

Piney Point made headlines in April 2021 when 215 million gallons of wastewater were pumped from the facility into Port Manatee. The polluted water, according to members of Suncoast Waterkeeper, played a major role in exacerbating the red tide bloom months later.

Crews with the court-appointed receiver and its contractor, Forgen, LLC, are continuing its work to close the OGS-South compartment. Contractors are grading and shaping the area so that it will no longer accumulate rainwater.

Here is a list of key updates from the last 11 months:

  • The site received 0.09 inches of rain so far this week. Piney Point has received approximately 54.46 inches of rain since Jan. 1, 2022. In response to rain events, clean, non-contact stormwater will be conveyed as needed through the site’s permitted outfall along Buckeye Road. Samples are collected at the permitted outfall during runoff events to confirm the stormwater meets the requirements of its permit.
  • The current storage capacity for additional rainfall at the site is approximately 25.1 inches. This capacity is expected to change with rainfall amounts, as well as adjusted water management activities at the site.
  • As part of the site’s water management efforts, piping of water to the North Regional Water Reclamation Facility resumed and to date, 40,738,871 gallons have been transferred. Spray evaporation also resumed in the NGS-North compartment.
  • Approximately 263 million gallons are currently held within the NGS-South compartment. Pond level readings are expected to fluctuate due to a host of factors, including wind/associated waves in the pond, rainfall and water management activities.