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News Section: Local Government



Injection Wells Stir Many Questions, Few Answers

Citizens to BOCC: Slow this thing down!

Published Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:06 am

BRADENTON -- The troubled Piney Point phosphate mining site has cost taxpayers close to $200 million over the years, and some Manatee County Commissioners want to spend $25 million more -- just to get rid of the decades-old toxic water. But opponents say there is too much at risk and the process is moving too fast.

 

It was March of last year when commissioners watched a powerpoint presentation by Wastewater Division manager Jeff Goodwin, who introduced the North Manatee County Injection System to County Commissioners. 

 

Tuesday, before the same commission, Goodwin returned, with his new boss, Utility Director Mike Gore. 

 

The proposed project was the same; drill three deep injection wells; two on Port Manatee property and another across U.S.41 at Piney Point. 

 

The estimated cost was the same too, $24 million, though the story had changed. Back then the goal was to "…offer options for industry that have waste streams not typically handled within a wastewater system," said then Utility Director Dan Gray. Gray added, "When we can add wells, it can be a high level asset."

 

When Gray retired, Gore adopted the project as well as the job as director. Gore delivered his presentation Tuesday with much more zeal then his predecessor did 14 months earlier.

 

Manatee County has many injection wells for wastewater effluent disposal, none of which resemble the one that brought the more than 100 citizens to Tuesday's work session's in opposition.

 

The deepest of the three proposed wells would be an estimated 3,500 feet deep; designated as a Class I injection well system, while the other two are Class V wells (1 to 2 thousand ft deep).

 

Farmers, environmentalists and homeowners showed up to denounce any idea of barium, uranium and arsenic being pumped into the aquifer, even if it is sent 3,500 feet down.

 

The toxic water in the gypsum stack at Piny Point is said to have them all.     

 

Gore was joined by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Deputy Director Chris Klena, from the Division of Water Resource Management. Klena said, "The levels are too low to qualify as a hazardous material."

 

Klena described the stack as an "old leaky tub," assuring all who were in the room, "everything will go well." 

 

Parrish farmer, Allen Jones said, "I don't see any analysis of the water, or plans to monitor. We depend on our natural resources for our livelihood. We invest our lives in the value of that natural resource."

 

Geologist David Woodhouse, who has contracted for the EPA, as a specialist in hydrogeology and geologic forensics said, "Water goes where it wants to go. You can't model it."

 

Barbara Hines, Chairwoman for Manasota 88, said, "EVERY environmental disaster was assured beforehand."

 

Commissioners, prior to Tuesday's Work Session, were fighting hard to keep the ball rolling in support of the wells; that is except Commissioners DiSabatino and Gallen, who both weren't even close to accepting the lack of science that was being demonstrated to support the wells.

 

To most of those watching and those who attended, it was a no-brainer; many questions and few answers. Stay tuned.

Join the conversation post Facebook comments here or on our site at the bottom of article.

 

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Non-Facebook Comments:


The best test of this putrid polluted, hazardous waste would be inject it into the politician's and Phosphate Industries managements houses full strength, as a quick study of what happens when you pile acids and other pollutants, a highly concentrated solution, it would not take but a few whiffs of the substance to help these morons get the real picture.

Then we would not be needing bogus phosphate studies from other countries as is what is ongoing by Army corps of catastrophes who's track record for disastrous out comes, speaks for it's self.

Imagine the cumulative impact from a large # of piney point's scattered around central and SW Florida, holding a 100 years worth of highly toxic waste, some of which actually have directly burst into aquifers and others where they dilute the toxins with pure aquifer water which requires very large ratios of the pure water to the toxic water.

additionally we have to accept the paid for opinions of scientist who are highly paid to lie about the issues, these scientist and other corrupted officials only see green and what they are paid to say.

the way to know the truth is feed the politicians and the prostitute experts a steady diet of the stuff they want to pump
into the ground where it is possible to come back and haunt or decedents or even us.
their has already been enough toxins produced as left overs from mining to wipe out the future economy, to an extent well beyond every penny mining has taken from or resources.
Some of the earliest Major disaster sites have not even been restored, how can we allow paid liars to be given credit as valid experts, WAKE UP AMERICA, smell the Acid, get a clue as to why Mosaic spends millions on bogus adds of how wonderful they are????
Posted by Frank Kirkland on May 15, 2014
 

IF there is no reason to question the safety of THIS KIND of deep well injection proposal; then there is no reason to resist publication of an outside (bona fide) analysis of the water, which might be injected before ANY work on such a project begins. Safe drinking water is more valuable than gold; as some or our countrymen are learning the hard way right now. Think and Study to avoid disaster.
Posted by Nancy R Dean on May 14, 2014
 

Thank you Mr. Rehill for such clarity and truth in your articles. Citizens need to know the truth and that is what you provide.

There was some very troubling discussion and testimony at the Worksession .
Chris Klena, Assistant Director of the FDEP, tried very hard
to convince citizens that all would be OK?.but ducking into a back room in
the Chambers after the meeting to avoid questions from citizens and
avoiding the critical one of will other counties toxic waste be disposed of
in this well???..money for the County???

She alluded to the fact that if the County does not take control of this
there will be someone else who could come along and the County
would have no control. Who in their right mind would undertake this
$25+ million dollar fiasco.

Hugh McGuire ( Mosaic?s attrorney), the chief representative of the Northern
County Partnership which is an exclusive club of the largest business that
own Manatee County, delivered a prophetic statement to the Commissioners?
?.?This will happen with the County in charge?? Does he know something that
we don?t and will the Commissioners follow his command as when he is in
Chambers representing Mosaic?????

Our County Administration revealed that he would ?check the old files BEFORE
he begins to look at alternatives??WHAT? New technologies have come forward
within the past 10+ years??..look for those first.

There were a lot of unanswered questions, deliberate or not. Our water is at
state here. When this comes back before the Board for a vote, all of Manatee
County should turn out and demand a better solution to the disposal of the
results of phosphate mining and maybe we need to take a hard look at what
it is costing us to have Mosaic in Florida.
Posted by Barbara Angelucci on May 14, 2014
 

Once again Robin and Michael stood up to protect our county's resources- in spite of facing thousands of dollars from developers in their reelection efforts. Now that's courage. What does that say about the developers' darlings- Whitmore, Bustle, Baum and Benack? How much do they care for our water? Another reason to kick out Whitmore and elect Wonder who is campaigning for clean water, not for developers.
Posted by joe kane on May 14, 2014
 

Once again Robin and Michael stood up to protect our county's resources- in spite of facing thousands of dollars from developers in their reelection efforts. Now that's courage. What does that say about the developers' darlings- Whitmore, Bustle, Baum and Benack? How much do they care for our water? Another reason to kick out Whitmore and elect Wonder who is campaigning for clean water, not for developers.
Posted by joe kane on May 14, 2014
 

Once again Robin and Michael stood up to protect our county's resources- in spite of facing thousands of dollars from developers in their reelection efforts. Now that's courage. What does that say about the developers' darlings- Whitmore, Bustle, Baum and Benack? How much do they care for our water? Another reason to kick out Whitmore and elect Wonder who is campaigning for clean water, not for developers.
Posted by joe kane on May 14, 2014
 

Once again Robin and Michael stood up to protect our county's resources- in spite of facing thousands of dollars from developers in their reelection efforts. Now that's courage. What does that say about the developers' darlings- Whitmore, Bustle, Baum and Benack? How much do they care for our water? Another reason to kick out Whitmore and elect Wonder who is campaigning for clean water, not for developers.
Posted by joe kane on May 14, 2014
 

Once again Robin and Michael stood up to protect our county's resources- in spite of facing thousands of dollars from developers in their reelection efforts. Now that's courage. What does that say about the developers' darlings- Whitmore, Bustle, Baum and Benack? How much do they care for our water? Another reason to kick out Whitmore and elect Wonder who is campaigning for clean water, not for developers.
Posted by joe kane on May 14, 2014
 

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Name Date
James Powers October 22, 2004
Daniel Siglin October 21, 2014
Judith Snodgrass October 22, 2014
Veleta Spann October 15, 2014
Josephine Lupoli October 18, 2014
Dimitrios Sokos October 19, 2004
Gary Richelieu October 16, 2004
Aline Funk October 17, 2014
Alice Szakacs October 16, 2014
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