The League of Women Voters of Florida stands extremely concerned about the emergency situation in Manatee County from the threatened collapse of the HRK Holdings phosphate waste storage ponds. This problem stems back to the 1960s and has not been properly addressed by the facility operators, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) or the County Commissioners. FDEP needs to undertake a greater oversight role of these ponds and those from other similar phosphate mining waste storage. There has not been an active effort to treat these wastes so they can be released or injected and the ponds drained.
The League of Women Voters of Florida requests the FDEP to take a greater oversight role and for the legislature to appropriate funds to permit active avoidance of a catastrophic release and identification of a process for addressing this hazard.