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Published: Fri, September 30, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Scott tours site of Mosaic sinkhole, leak

Scott tours site of Mosaic sinkhole, leak

That is common sense and our residents deserve that.

She said the company is adding five more monitoring wells so it can better track any more movement of the contamination.

"There ought to be public notification right away".

State Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-Treasure Island, quickly announced Monday she would "spearhead" Scott's legislative proposal in the House.

Governor Rick Scott is issuing an emergency order in the wake of two major toxic spills.

Now the law requires that the public only needs to be notified if the contamination moves beyond the property owned by the company or entity that spilled the contamination.

Scott's announcement didn't specify the amount of pollution that would trigger a notification or how far the notification would extend.

On Sept. 20, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection testily responded to criticism about its response to a crisis at the Mosaic Company's New Wales facility, stating that public notification and other steps were "above and beyond" requirements in state law.

Because of its geography, which is underlain with limestone and dolostone bedrock, Florida is susceptible to sinkholes, the state department of Environmental Protection stated.

It took at least 19 days for mainstream media outlets to learn about the sinkhole and begin reporting that information to the public.

On Aug. 27 a massive sinkhole opened up on the Mosaic property, draining a retention basin containing hundreds of millions of gallons of contaminated water from the fertilizer processing operations there, with the potential that it could reach the drinking water aquifer. "I still believe there must be a full investigation - not just into the cause of the sinkhole - but into the state's response and why they attempted to cover up the incident for weeks". He agreed to pay a Tallahassee lawyer $700,000 in public money past year to settle public records lawsuits alleging he and staff members violated state law after they created private email accounts to hide their communications - the first time a sitting governor has agreed to a settlement regarding public records violations.

State legislators from the Tampa Bay region have already started a review of the sewage spill.

Pollution issues have also dogged Pinellas County, where millions of gallons of sewage spilled into the Boca Ciega Bay and the Tampa Bay due to heavy rainfall from Hurricane Hermine earlier this month. Scott said he's going to fight for legislation that will ensure the public is notified within 24 hours after such incidents, and see that companies that don't will be fined heavily.

"O$3 ur laws are outdated and need to change", Scott said. You can view the Terms of Use on our website.

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