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# Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered 11

## Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

(OP)
300 homes threatened. Pollutant laden water being discharged to bay to stave off collapse.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment...

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Those responsible should pay for the total damage... not the taxpayers.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Click on a few next page arrows and try to imagine the extent of the problems that mining has created in that region.

Why is no performance bond required to assure that monies are available to clean up the mining company messes after they declare bankrupty and skip town, similar to what the Interior Department requires for acquiring oil and gas drilling and production leases on federal lands?

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

#### Quote (Seems they are long gone.)

The government has to impliment some means of protecting the public from this... even if the shareholders at the time are liable.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Its pretty much a world wide issue. UK we have loads of mining slag heaps which every so often decide to rearrange themselves. I don't have a clue how the finances of dealing with it are dealt with.

Although they are mostly ex British Coal so the government owned them for the majority of there lifespan which make it easier.

After bankruptcy I didn't think shareholders could be chased for outstanding debts. All they can do is liquidate current assets and then they are gone. Part and parcel of having a limited liability company.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

This appears to be similar to the Flint Michigan scenario. Another disaster caused by a Governor.

Former Governor Soctt was in charge when the DEP budget was slashed in 2007.

"From the moment the health-care multimillionaire swept into office on 2010′s Tea Party anti-tax, anti-regulation wave, he began slashing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), cutting budgets, skilled staff and inspections.

Annual DEP funding:

Here is the bottom line total each year:

2004-05: $2.1 billion 2005-06:$2 billion

2006-07: $2.9 billion 2007-08:$2.4 billion

2008-09: $2 billion 2009-10:$1.3 billion

The SFWMD, which had a $1.4 billion budget in 2007, is now an$814 million agency. Scott’s administration cut $700 million out of all the state’s water management districts after his first year and crippled their ability to levy taxes. His justification — giving average property owners tax relief — is a sick joke; the state’s 15 biggest industries, like Florida Power & Light and the Walt Disney Co., got to pocket a combined$1.2 million annually, but homeowners save less than $3 per$100,000."

Responsibility for the dangerous waste at Piney Point has been passed around over the decades from a private company, to the state and then back to another private company. All the while, polluted water and phosphogypsum has lingered as a risk to the bay.

To compound the problem at Piney Point, the Florida DEP permitted the stacks (sludge lagoons) to accept dredged materials from the Manatee County’s Berth 12 dredging project at the Port of Manatee. What a stupid idea that was. That is why they are saying it is saltwater.

"In response to Bellamy, Manatee County Parks & Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker said the “elephant in the room” is the construction of the lined containment system, which has now leaked twice since 2011."

"That high density polyethylene liner was installed between 2003 and September 2005 by contractors DEP hired after it took over the Piney Point facility in an effort to close the site after the Mulberry Corporation filed for bankruptcy in 2001, according to DEP records. At the time, the overfull containment system was also in danger of failing, forcing a more costly and elaborate effort to get rid of the tainted water."

"HRK Holdings purchased the Piney Point property in August 2006. DEP had just completed its effort to install the liner system and treat and remove hundreds of millions of gallons of wastewater while operating at the site, leaving about 35 million gallons of wastewater in the surface of the ponds, according to DEP records."

"The company agreed to accept dredging materials from Manatee County’s Berth 12 dredging project at the Port of Manatee, and to store excess capacity at the wastewater pond on the property’s southeast corner. DEP was the permitting agency on the project."

"The Berth 12 project took place between April 2011 and October 2011, but was interrupted by the first leak in the phosphogypsum stack since the polyethylene liner was installed. The water was leaking from the pond that received the dredging material, which is the same pond that is leaking at Piney Point today."

“When the port was dredged, we delivered the dredge material and a slurry of water to a containment pond at the top of the stack that had capacity at that time,” Hunsicker said. “It was a good place to put the dredge material as opposed to offshore dumping or finding a spot in Tampa Bay to put it. It was a good solution. So the material went to the top of the stack in a mud-water slurry.”

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

personally I can't understand why any company would want to go near that site.

This is what they are doing with it.

Paid 4.3 million for it.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

If the pond doesn't leak, its a landlord's dream. If it leaks, maybe they have insurance coverage. If not, then they play their LLC get out of jail free card, bankruptcy and a midnight train to Georgia on the Orange Blossom Express. Seems to have worked before. In fact, is it not the oldest play in the book?

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

In Canada, when property changes hands, the seller has to declare if there are any 'buried things' (Jimmy Hoffa,excepted) and the new owner is responsible to remediate... this may be in the purchase agreement, I don't know. Else it can be part of the sale agreement that the original owner look after remediation. I've been involved with several projects where this has happened. It becomes a caveat to the property title. The original seller may be responsible (I think he's in Chapter 11) or the new guy may be responsible... If the old guy has not met the terms of the sales contract, the sale may be voided... and the old guy may now be faced with ownership, having to pay back the money, and being sued by the new purchasor, and a state lien filed against the property... the fly in the ointment is the the Florida State government is a little flakey (by world standards, and I'm including backward African countries). The winners... as usual are the lawyers...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

The problem is that because the fertiliser company went proper bankrupt not just chapter 11 the ownership was local state for a while.

By the looks of things that hrk is setup so they can go bankrupt and evaporate. Then it will be back in public hands to sort out.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Thats the magic of LLCs. LLC's should be limited to owning no more than whatever their insurance policy covers. If they want more, they can post a bond to cover potential future liabilities.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

That would put all nuke reactor operators out of business if they had to have decommissioning money covered.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

According to the comments at the end of this, there are lots of dirty hands in this event, EPA included April 4 2021 PM, Fox, Florida works to avoid ‘catastrophic’ pond collapse.

Now it is just a question - can the water be drained / pumped out faster than the impoundment failure progresses or not.

One of the problems complicating the management of waste from Phosphate mining is that phosphate rock contains naturally-occurring uranium, thorium and radium, most of which remains in the waste phosphogypsum. EPA, Radioactive Material From Fertilizer Production

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

They do
Financial Assurance for Decommissioning
NRC requires nuclear power plant licensees to report to the agency the status of their decommissioning funds at least once every 2 years, annually within 5 years of the planned shutdown, and annually once the plant ceases operation.
https://www.nrc.gov/waste/decommissioning/finan-as...

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

"The NRC estimates costs for decommissioning a nuclear power plant range from $280-$612 million."

To clean up the 17 reactors in UK they are estimating 120 billion UK pounds which is about 165 billion dollars so 10 billion each.

They could very easily exceed that estimate on these mining pools never mind a nuke.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

In the US, there are large liability loopholes regularly dished out by the congress and the state legislatures. It includes mining, superfund sites, nuclear plants, cell phone mfrs, cell tower operators, vaccine mfrs, and on and on. It is not clear what rationale the representatives use when they pass these get out of jail free rules, and it is the normal response for the public to grimace at the coincidence of large political donations from the related mfrs at the time of the passage of these laws.At some point a concious , breathing adult will realize it is just a gov't for sale, and user beware.

"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

same ole story ... with enough money (and political influence) you can avoid a lot of responsibility.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

It's someone else's problem they know they will Be long gone by the time anything kicks off.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Performance bonds, or something equivalent, should be a requirement on any large construction project. Not just nuclear and mining, but any project that has a substantial impact beyond the property line, including solar and wind projects. Seems we all agree on that (hopefully).

However, trying to make a correlation between a shrinking (or expanding) state dept budget and near-term performance of one site is not so convincing. There are 100 variables that brought us to this point, not just a handful of sinister libertarian-leaning politicians.

In order to make your claim about the causation of budgets vs environmental outcome, it appears you have anchored the "correct" state dept budget number to the previous years budget. Who is to say that the previous budget wasn't 4x as large as it should have been. Few people - and probably not us - have the insight to accurately define what the budget of such-and-such dept should be to fulfill their mandate. The left always wants a bigger state budget, the right always wants to shrink it. Few ask what it should be without anchors. [Or why half of the state staff is home doing kitchen remodels while drawing a full salary.]

I have worked for both the private and public sectors. I can assure you that some state dept budgets are indeed 3x as large as needed, and the state would get the necessary business for the poeple done if they cut 70% of their staff. And regulation is for sure the necessary job of the state.

Anyway, we're all engineers, so is they any engineering in this story we can hash out? Say, slope stability with rapid drawdown, or changes in permeability over time, or rapid mitigation techniques, or something like that.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Seems like somebody was going to try a smash and grab.
NRC had a change of heart in November.
Hummm, thats quite a .... coincidence.
23 Nov 2019, now what happened on that particular day... let me think...

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

3

#### Quote (ATSE (Structural))

However, trying to make a correlation between a shrinking (or expanding) state dept budget and near-term performance of one site is not so convincing. There are 100 variables that brought us to this point, not just a handful of sinister libertarian-leaning politicians.

No, there is a single issue that caused this problem:

To compound the problem at Piney Point, the Florida DEP permitted the stacks (sludge lagoons) to accept dredged materials from the Manatee County’s Berth 12 dredging project at the Port of Manatee.

Now, the present Florida Governor is desperately attempting to shift the blame from the State of Florida to a bankrupt company, HRK Holdings. If Florida had properly disposed of the dredging, this incident would never have happened.

Contaminated dredging materials are generally disposed of an approved landfill suitable for handling the material.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

How long are these liners meant to last anyway?

Seems to me its not a case of if its going to happen but when.

Good to hear they have had a change of plan with 3 mile.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Liners and ponds are not forever solutions (check Hanford Washington), but what the owner says is we'll store it until we figure out what to do with it.
Then they go bankrupt .
It's not a flaw, it's a feature.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

A modern solid waste landfill typically has a double liner system. For a landfill, liners are a forever solution.

Liners are not generic, liners are available in various thicknesses.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, or a qanon guy, or anything like that... I consider myself as a conservative with a strong social conscience... but one of the few purposes of a government is to look after the long term interests of the citizens... and they have failed in this regard.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Not the short term?

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

#### Quote (Alistair_Heaton (Mechanical))

So what's the predictions for this then?

I don't know what is going on with 3 Mile Island. However, I am aware that the seller, First Energy has a controversial past and has has many scandals:

1. Responsible for the Northeast Blackout in 2003. At the time, it was the world's second most widespread blackout in history, after the 1999 Southern Brazil blackout. The outage, which was much more widespread than the Northeast blackout of 1965, affected an estimated 10 million people in southern and central Ontario, and 45 million people in eight U.S. states.
2. On March 31, 2018, FirstEnergy Solutions filed for bankruptcy. FirstEnergy Solutions was a generation subsidiary, and FirstEnergy itself remains solvent. The case is being closely watched as it could have significant implications for the U.S. power sector, as the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio has asserted its primacy over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relating to certain FirstEnergy Solutions FERC-regulated power purchase agreements.
3. On July 21, 2020, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Larry Householder, former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, and three others were accused of accepting $60 million in bribes from FirstEnergy in exchange for$1.3 billion worth of benefits in the form of Ohio House Bill 6, which increased electricity rates and provided that money as a $150 million per year bailout for two nuclear plants (Perry and Davis–Besse). The stock price of the company plummeted within hours of the arrests bring made. First Energy denies involvement in the charges. State legislators quickly announced plans for a bill to repeal H.B. 4. FirstEnergy was required to pay$1.5 billion by 2011 as part of a settlement to end a lawsuit filed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This lawsuit alleged that the company failed to install pollution control equipment when upgrading its coal burning plants. Also as part of the settlement, major pollution control equipment is now being installed at the FirstEnergy Sammis site and others. This lawsuit was one of the New Source Review lawsuits filed in the 1990s.
5. FirstEnergy Corp. to return $26 million to customers collected under controversial ‘decoupling’ policy. By tying revenue to such a lucrative year, decoupling “essentially takes about one-third of our company and I think makes it somewhat recession-proof,” Chuck Jones, then FirstEnergy’s CEO, said during a call with investors in 2019. But that deal didn’t affect the$26 million FirstEnergy had already collected from customers since January of 2020. Rather, refunds were ordered as part of House Bill 128, a partial repeal of HB6 signed by Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

pretty much along the same lines.

There is a pot of money 900 million or so. Estimates for clearing the site up are well over 1 billion. So they have a buyer that reckons they can do it for 870 million.

So they want to sell them it and then walk away.

The spent fuel on site is going to need cooled until at least 2050. There is no current plans for long term off site storage. And the requirement is the site is to be clean with the soil removed down to 3 ft.

The UK sites have similar requirements and estimates are just under 10 billion per site. And most of them don't have anywhere near the same amount of contaminated concrete to get rid of.

I am sure they will just wait until a new political situation is around and then offload it. the 900 million will evaporate relatively quickly and they will go bankrupt and there will be left a big pile of spent fuel that needs to be cooled and disposed of and the rest of the site dirty.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

#### Quote (Not the short term?)

That too, but more important the long term... a common expression with the First Peoples is that we don't own the future... we borrow it from our grandchildren.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FLDEP) has announced that the toxic seepage from a plastic liner into the wastewater pond at the Piney Point phosphate plant has stopped. One would have to assume that the leak was in the upper level of the pond.

"In a statement released Saturday, an environmental group named Manasota-88 said that Piney Point structural conditions were known for a significant period before the recent emergency. The group said that officials had "mismanaged" the site for decades.

"The current crisis can be traced back to the absurd 2006 decision to allow dredged material from Port Manatee to be placed into one of the gyp stacks at Piney Point, something the stack was never designed for and should have never been allowed," the statement read."

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Great. Problem is solved for all intents and purposes of the current FL administration.
Happy Days!

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Until the red bloom starts.

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

Can you spell E-X-T-E-R-N-A-L-I-Z-E-D C-O-S-T-S ?

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

### RE: Florida mining waste pond (400 million gallons) in imminent danger of breach - evacuation ordered

As I recall, some plastic liners have a 300 yr expected life , provided they are not exposed to UV light or significant radiation.Normally there is included an additional layer of clay under the liner, and there can also be an additional layer of "red mud" ( tailings from aluminum refining) to capture any leaked chemical residue.

One of the 2 largest landfill issues in the USA is the containment of fly ash from coal fired power plants. You may recall that one of those large Kingston TVA ash ponds embankments failed in 2008 and it swallowed a highway and a few houses. The intriguing aspect of the fly ash problem is that it can actually be used as a "green" substitute for portland cement, when it is converted to geopolymer cement by adding sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide to it. Instead, it is landfilled and will be reopened as a present to the generation of people that occupy Tennesee in the year 2400.

That leads to the second largest landfill issue, which is the temporary ( 300 yr) internment of waste fuel from the nuclear power plants. The waste fuel that is cooled for 5+ yrs in the fuel pools is to be transferred to dry cask storage, then transported to a 300 yr internment site ( interim storage) in New Mexico , where the concrete casks will be buried in a lined landfill. Again, another present to be opened by the busy folks in the year 2400. That 300 yr might be theoretically extended to 3000 yrs if the concrete used in the casks is geopolymer concrete, which has a water permeability that is 1000 times lower than portland cement based concrete.

"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

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