Monday, January 30, 2023

Play

Massachusetts could restrict police use of facial recognition technology, Wyoming mulls more health coverage for workers, and a report finds low salary contributes to social workers leaving the field.

Play

Civil rights activists push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following the killing of Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he can reach a deal with President Biden on the debt ceiling, and election experts say 2023 could shape voting rights across the country.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Piney Point Pollution Could Overflow with Storms, Hurricanes

Play

Tuesday, August 17, 2021   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Due to the recent tropical weather systems threatening the region, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is seeking an emergency court hearing to transfer control of the troubled former phosphate processing plant at Piney Point from its owners to avoid another environmental disaster.

In court filings, lawyers for DEP said owner HRK Holdings "has demonstrated its inability to continue to maintain, repair or close the stack system."

Glenn Compton, director of the environmental group ManaSota-88, said the state's urgency is decades overdue, but he is glad to see something is being done to protect Tampa Bay.

"We're just one more storm away from another catastrophic event at Piney Point," Compton asserted. "And also we need to realize that we're not just talking about one holding pond that has leaked, but we have two other holding ponds that are at critical stage."

In April, the ongoing issues with the fertilizer processing plant garnered national attention when a leak in a holding pond, called a phosphogypsum stack, forced operators to release 215 million gallons of nutrient-loaded wastewater into the bay.

The DEP stated it remains committed to overseeing HRK's management of Piney Point and the eventual closure of the site, through the emergency hearing.

Compton added he hopes the state will do more to protect the environment beyond the issues at Piney Point.

"The state of Florida will hopefully realize there's a true cost to the environment and to the public health and the taxpayers when it comes to permitting phosphate mining and not linking the phosphogypsum waste disposal to the mining that's approved at the beginning of the process," Compton contended.

Many groups already have linked recent red-tide outbreaks in the region, which killed more than 1,700 tons of marine animals, to the Piney Point discharges. Groups have been able to pinpoint the trail of dead fish through the Florida Fish and Wildlife's red tide map.

If a judge agrees with the state and appoints a receiver, the Department of Environmental Protection said it will pay for costs with funds from the Legislature.


get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

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