Florida's Phosphate Industry & Why it's Harmful to Us & Our Environment
Gil Smart, the Policy Director for Friends of the Everglades, explains how phosphate is processed in the state of Florida. He dives into the troubling current “disposal” methods for massive proportions of radioactive phosphogypsum, the toxic byproduct of this kind of phosphate-based fertilizer production. Most recently, this mismanagement was at the detriment of our citizens and waterways after the disaster at Piney Point, where Florida officials permitted the dumping of 215 million gallons of toxic process water directly into the Tampa Bay in March and April of 2021. Following soon after in June, a red tide event kicked on Florida's west coast grew to epic proportions in the Tampa Bay over the following month, supercharged by a record heat index and the recent influx of nitrogen in the bay. High concentrations of nutrients and light fuel Karenia brevis, commonly known as red tide, contributing to the rapid and abundant algae growth we saw this summer.
The Florida phosphate industry is being grossly mismanaged and has been for far too long. Our officials and the companies involved are complicit and should be held accountable. Do your part and sign the petition linked in this article and explore VoteWater.org