Thursday, March 23, 2023

Play

A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

Play

The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Lawsuit Launched Over Piney Point Wastewater Leak

Play

Friday, May 21, 2021   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Conservation groups say Florida's environmental regulators ignored a decade of warning signs - including advice from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - and it ultimately led to the Piney Point wastewater leak. Now, they plan to file suit.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, HRK Holdings, and the Manatee County Port Authority have all been named in the Notice of Intent to Sue, after April's leak of a phosphogypsum stack, releasing about 215 million gallons of wastewater into Tampa Bay and prompting evacuations.

Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director and senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said the suit calls for permanent closure of the site and better solutions than dumping the remaining waste into Florida's groundwater.

"If we don't file this lawsuit," said Lopez, "our concern is that the DEP, the county and HRK is going to choose a path of least resistance for getting rid of the waste that they're left managing, and deep-well injection appears to be such a path."

In a statement, the Florida DEP says it's committed to holding all involved accountable, as well as ensuring permanent closure of the site. However, Lopez and other conservation groups say the suit highlights the state's negligence, which allowed the spill to occur.

The groups note DEP is the primary agency for granting permits for operations at the site, and allege that it ignored the advice of federal regulators to not use the site as a place to store dredge material. Lopez said all parties were aware of the risks.

"Piney Point is a well-documented example of the regulatory failures of an industry, but it's not the only one," said Lopez. "We have many other phosphogypsum stacks in Florida that are in various stages of failing or failure."

The groups want to see more effort on cleanup alternatives, such as the phosphate industry-backed use of reverse osmosis systems to clean and filter wastewater.

Other plaintiffs include the ManaSota-88, Our Children's Earth Foundation, Suncoast Waterkeeper and Tampa Bay Waterkeeper.


get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …


Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …


According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …

Environment

As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …

 

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