The north side of Mosaic Fertilizer’s large phosphogypsum stack at its Uncle Sam plant rises in 2015 near Convent in St. James Parish. At the time, the stack was 187 feet high. It holds phosphogypsum, a waste byproduct from processing phosphate rock to make fertilizer. State officials said Friday, Jan. 25, 3019, that parts of this wall are shifting slowly and could be at risk of collapse. The wall holds back acidic process water from the plant.
This article from The Advocate newspaper in Louisiana should raise concern for Florida. We are faced with the same issues. Hurricanes anyone? Take a look at the drone flyover of a gypstack indicated in the article. We’re not sure if it’s the one in crisis but it’s an interesting view.
On January 19, 2019 about 50 concerned citizens, including members of 3PR and fellow organizations, turned out to raise awareness of the environmental tragedy that is phosphate mining. Armed with handmade posters and sunscreen we stood, facing passing motorists on the south end of the US 41 bridge in Punta Gorda. We were there for several hours, waiving at passing cars and discussing the impact of strip mining Florida.
There was a steady stream of cars and trucks passing by. Many honked horns and waived in support. It was a great way to reach hundreds of people, some of whom may know little if anything about the terrible legacy that mining will leave with Florida if it’s allowed to continue. A legacy made of tens of thousands of acres of radioactive “soil”, radioactive waste piles called phosphogypsum stacks, and huge clay settling slime pits. And no permanent jobs.
If you have the opportunity to attend an assembly like this you will not regret it. A great chance to meet fellow concerned citizens and to raise the awareness of this continuing disaster facing our state.
Our children will be most impacted by mining’s legacy
This letter to The Arcadian by Dennis Mader dated 09-27-2018 discusses the need to keep the DeSoto County – Mosaic mediation process open and above board and to eliminate “backdoor channel” communications:
This article from the Hardee County newspaper The Herald Advocate Sept 6, 2018 discusses the “temporary” closure of the South Pasture Mine and the impact on jobs. Note the comment at the end of the article regarding increased supply from China, Saudi Arabia and Morocco through increased production. Does this portend continuing disruptions in Mosaic’s ability to compete? Florida has only a fraction of the phosphate rock that is available worldwide. Will it become too costly for Mosaic to mine in Florida? What happens then?
The recent public hearing in Wauchula regarding zoning and permitting the huge Ona mine continues the downward spiral of Hardee County. Here is an excellent letter from Nancy Armstrong in which she reviews the hearing and its consequences.