In the wake of the news of the Mosiac Company toxic waste spill into Florida waters, Sen. Darren Soto is calling on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to release a detailed plan to stop the spill and clean up the damage.
In a letter to FDEP Secretary Jon Steverson, Soto requests to be notified of any clean-up plans or ways to prevent further contamination of the state’s drinking water.
“It is critical for the State of Florida to aggressively oversee and safeguard the public health and the environment,” he wrote.
The spill in question was produced by Mosiac Company, which makes fertilizer and animal feed, when a sinkhole opened up underneath their phosphate mining operation in Polk County and spilled 215 million gallons of polluted water into the Floridian aquifer.
The company and the DEP then waited three weeks to inform anyone that the spill had happened and that they could have their wells tested.
The waste, phosphogypsum, contains low levels of radioactive uranium and radium, but toxic metals such as lead.
Soto says the DEP isn’t doing its part – aside from monitoring and a long process for extracting the waste, there isn’t anything being done at the speed he says is crucial. Because of heavy rains recently, Soto says he fears the water could become contaminated faster due to runoff.
“Allowing residents to request their well water be tested and supplying bottled water to those in fear of contamination are temporary band aids,” he said. “This is not the first sinkhole spill involving this company, and with its current expansion plans, it likely will not be its last. We have an immediate threat to the health of our people and our environment, and plans should have been developed long ago to quickly contain it.”