Great article in The Hill by Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director for the Center for Biological Diversity. She emphasizes the need for EPA regulation for phosphogypsum.
“As environmental regulators and politicians nervously saluted efforts to prevent the catastrophic release of millions of gallons of wastewater from the aging Piney Point phosphogypsum wastewater storage pond near Tampa, Fla., this week, there was scarce little talk of how we got here.
Or of how we’ll prevent similar disasters moving forward.
Much like the country’s toxic coal ash dumps and pollution-spewing oil and gas wells, the dozens of phosphogypsum stacks across Florida and beyond highlight regulatory failures and chronic injustices that pose catastrophic environmental harms and place disproportionate health and safety risks on Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and low-wealth communities.
And in the case of many of Florida’s 25 phosphogypsum stacks, those glaring risks have steadily mounted as state and federal officials ignored signs of troubling failures at outdated facilities plagued by aging infrastructure and lax oversight.
Phosphogypsum waste is created during the process of making phosphoric acid, which is widely used in fertilizers. The toxic, radioactive waste is stored in more than 70 of the mountainous waste piles called “phosphogypsum stacks” in communities in Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. “
For the full article, visit: