Piney Point pond decision causing big stink - FOX 13 News

Piney Point pond decision causing big stink

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MANATEE (FOX 13) -

It is a solution nobody likes.

"It infuriates me. They are going to put wastewater in the ground with a very, very big chance of it getting into our aquifer, and I'm not happy with it," said Nanette Eubanks.

Eubanks is upset over how the state plans to remove toxic waste water from an old Phosphate mine. But the state Department of Environmental Protection said there are few other choices.

“We have to do something with that water, and I think our safest alternative is to put it into a deep well-confined salty aquifer, and I think that is our best bet," said DEP Deputy Director Chris Klena.

The DEP plan would inject the toxic water deep into the ground, below the aquifer. But first, they need approval from the Manatee County Commissioners to dig the well.

It would be a first of its kind in Florida.

"By God, I want to be a part of the solution. This has been a thorn in our side, in Manatee County's side for a long time," said Alan Jones.

Jones is a potato farmer and wants proof the plan won't fail.

"In order for us to determine the proper path, the community needs to do their own due diligence. We need to know what is in that water and the long-term effects on the aquifers," he said.

Commissioners asked the same question.

"The geology isn't perfect and we don't have all the knowledge, and if there is any incident, there are some economic damages that can occur to the farming industry, Manatee County and our area," said Commissioner Michael Gallen.

The DEP said time is running out.

"These ponds are like tubs, and the tubs are old and leaky. And we just can't take the chance that they're going to hold up," Klena said.

They won't guarantee that something may happen.

"I can just ensure you that DEP has all eyes on and look to make sure we're doing the right thing," Klena said.

The problem is already in their backyard and has been for years.

"I've invested my life and many people in this room have invested their life on the variable of that natural resource," said Jones.

The cost of the project would total $25 million.

Manatee County would pay the bill and then receive some money back from the owner of the plant.


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