11:32 GMT14 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said in a notice that there is no second breach at a former phosphate facility in Manatee County.

    Earlier in the day, a local public safety official said the US Army Corps of Engineers was assessing a potential second breach at the abandoned Piney Point fertilizer plant reservoir.

    "There have been news reports of a second area of seepage from the east wall of the NGS-South compartment at Piney Point. These reports are unsubstantiated," the agency said in a notice on Monday.

    The notice said engineers and dam safety specialists from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Army Corps of Engineers and other engineers had assessed the site of the potential second leak at the facility and determined the site was "safe to continue work."

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection continues to monitor the initial leak, the notice said.

    At least 26 pumps are being used for water removal at the site of the leak and 10 vacuum trucks have also been deployed, the notice said. About 35 million gallons of water are being removed from the Piney Point reservoir each day, the notice claimed.

    Water at the Piney Point site is not radioactive, but has high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen, according to Florida authorities.

    On Saturday, Florida Governor Ronald DeSantis announced a state of emergency in Manatee County after a breach was detected in the wall of a large pond at the Piney Point plant. Evacuation orders were issued as experts feared that the stacks of phosphogypsum - a radioactive byproduct from manufacturing fertilizer - could collapse further, which could cause major flooding of nearby areas and spill into sensitive marine habitats in Tampa Bay.


    Situation at Leaking Piney Point Plant in Florida 'Critical’, Authorities Say
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    Florida Governor Going to Manatee County Amid Piney Point Leak, Emergency Declared
    phosphate, Florida, US
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