Thursday, January 27, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory, and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement, the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic, and Ariz. lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Tampa Bay Braces for Red Tide Outbreak After Toxic Wastewater Leak

Play

Friday, April 9, 2021   

TAMPA, Fla. - The uncontrolled release of millions of gallons of polluted wastewater at Piney Point into Tampa Bay is raising concerns about a massive wave of harmful algal blooms.

As officials relax concerns about a complete breach at the old phosphate plant, inviting evacuees back to their homes this week, environmental groups warn neighboring communities are far from being out of the danger zone.

Adam Fernandez, a board member with the Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, said the next step is preparing for the consequences - including a red tide outbreak, from the unprecedented amount of nutrients being dumped into Florida's largest estuary.

"Now, it's that there's upwards of 500 tons of nitrogen that have been released into the bay," said Fernandez. "That is insane. That's an insane, biblical amount of nitrogen they released into our bay."

Manatee County Commissioners voted Tuesday to get rid of the wastewater being held at the abandoned facility's ponds permanently - using an injection well to treat the water, then dump it deep into the Floridan Aquifer.

On Wednesday, the Florida Senate approved adding $3 million to the state budget to help with cleanup at the site.

Fernandez said he worries a massive algal bloom will kill off a lot of seagrass, which supports the fisheries, and will create a domino effect throughout the environment.

"Red tide that comes in, you know," said Fernandez, "that chokes out all the oxygen in the water, and it can lead to massive fish kills, which we hate to see."

The Center for Biological Diversity is among the groups calling for long-term solutions, including closing plants that create phosphogypsum, the radioactive waste from processing phosphate.

They also say dumping the phosphate industry's pollution into the aquifer isn't the best solution, and have been petitioning for stronger federal oversight at existing facilities.




get more stories like this via email
Under a new proposal, California employees could use up to three days of paid sick leave to get and recover from a COVID vaccination. (Mangostar/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass. Gov…


Social Issues

Changes to a student-loan program for public-service employees is transforming the lives of Montanans who had their debts forgiven. In October…

Health and Wellness

When the Pueblo Community Health Center opened its 14,000 square-foot facility in 2003, Pueblo's east side, home to mostly minority residents…


By 2035, there are projected to be more than 1.2 million older adults living in Minnesota (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota is building on efforts to meet the needs of its growing population of older adults, now becoming the 10th state to join AARP's network of …

Social Issues

The past year saw American workers reassessing their jobs. However, those shifts did not result in higher union membership at the national level…

Those calling for permanent universal free school meals say research has linked them to better academic outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This summer, a key initiative to boost school meal access during the pandemic will expire. In North Dakota, those working at the community level say …

Environment

New research suggests Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event, on par with the one that ended the age of dinosaurs, already is under way. Noah Greenwald…

Social Issues

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021