Phosphate strip mining occurs daily in the Peace River Valley while Florida’s citizens are unaware of the severe irreparable environmental damage caused by the industry. Unfortunately, people living on reclaimed mined lands are now showing signs of serious illnesses possibly caused by radiation emissions from strip mining naturally occurring radioactive materials.
Phosphate mining operations in the Myakka River watersheds are detrimental to drinking water quality and quantity. Thousands of acres of pristine environmentally freshwater resources are being stripped from the central Florida earth.
Peace River watersheds and basins are in danger of extinction caused by severe environmental impacts by Florida’s phosphate industry. Over six million people in Central Florida are in danger of losing their freshwater resources due to Florida’s phosphate strip mining industry.
Florida’s phosphate industry is causing sinkholes to develop in the Peace River watershed and adjacent areas. The FDEP say they do not have the power or the funding to enforce Florida’s environmental laws concerning the phosphate industry. Florida’s taxpayers continually pay the price for the phosphate industry.
During the process of making fertilizer the Florida phosphate mining industry also produces toxic waste by-products. The by-products include concentrated airborne radiological agents. The DEP says these agents are toxic to all living things.
Florida's Phosphate Mining Catastrophe The Bone Valley region, also known as the Peace River Watershed, is located in southwest central Florida, about 30 miles east of the Tampa Bay Area. The Peace River Watershed includes portions of present-day Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Polk counties where phosphate is mined for use in the production of agricultural fertilizer. Florida currently contains the largest known deposits of phosphates in the United States.
Sinkholes are known to occur inside phosphogypsum stacks due to the added weight created by the “stack”. The stacks are also radioactive creating environmental hazards in and around all phosphate facilities. The stacks hold billions of gallons of toxic radioactive waste and historically are susceptible to failing, creating severe environmental impacts to properties adjacent to mining facilities.
West Central Florida is where phosphate industry and local government officials are continuing to litigate in Florida courts. Industry officials are in court because of denied strip mining permits by Manatee County, Florida. The total amount being asked for in court by phosphate officials is over $600 million.
Four central Florida counties are in legal battles with phosphate industry officials over strip mining thousands of acres of environmentally critical wetlands, rivers, streams, springs, and aquifers. The industry is also pumping millions of gallons of state water reserves daily. The water being consumed by the phosphate industry is causing water shortages for the citizens of central Florida since 1992.
Florida’s riparian lands and navigable waterways are being decimated by phosphate industry draglines on a daily basis. Florida’s elected officials “permit” phosphate industry officials to strip mine in central Florida’s watersheds degrading drinking water quality and quantity.
A dragline system is an unusually large land machine that is used in civil engineering, strip mining, and excavation. The larger types of drag line excavators are used in strip mining operations to extract phosphate rock. These are among the largest types of mobile equipment and can weigh upwards of ten thousand tons.
Central Florida large scale landscape modifications such as phosphate strip mining are understood to cause severe environmental impacts by state and phosphate industry officials. Florida residents should contact their elected officials to voice concerns about industry’s poor environmental stewardship.
There are four main types of mining: dredging, surface mining, underground mining and insitu mining.
Florida’s phosphate industry destroys riparian waterways without concern for environmental laws. Public waterways are terminated daily for the phosphate ore just beneath the surface. At the same time, phosphate industry officials bolster their reclamation projects as successful. However, phosphate officials do not tell the whole truth about their unscrupulous deeds.
Phosphate esters are widely used as pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. However, owing to the toxic nature of phosphate esters many governments and regulatory bodies have banned the usage of these pesticides on the crops.