What is Piney Point?
- Piney Point is the site of a former phosphate processing plant located on 676 acres of land in northern Manatee County, Florida near the coastline of lower Tampa Bay.
- First built in 1966, the plant produced fertilizer for decades until it was abandoned in 2001, leaving in place phosphogypsum stacks holding millions of gallons of wastewater.
- Phosphogypsum is a byproduct of the phosphate mining process and can be toxic to both humans and the environment.
- An emergency release of contaminated water from the aging stacks into Tampa Bay has occurred numerous times over the years. Nuisance and harmful algal blooms have usually followed these events.
Regional Response and Monitoring Plan
- From March 30th to April 9th, 2021 approximately 215 million gallons of wastewater from Piney Point were released into Tampa Bay.
- The Tampa Bay Estuary Program mobilized a coordinated environmental monitoring response to understand conditions immediately prior to, during, and after the onset of the discharges to Lower Tampa Bay.
- Partners throughout the region are modelling the plume trajectory and collecting water quality, benthic, seagrass, and fisheries monitoring data in an effort to monitor Tampa Bay’s response to this event.
Forum on Red Tide and Harmful Algae Blooms (July 23rd, 2021)
Hosted by the Suncoast Waterkeeper and Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, this scientific forum invited the Executive Directors of both the Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay Estuary Programs to provide updates and answer questions regarding the cause, effect and solution of the region’s recent red tide bloom.
TBEP In the News
|Tampa Bay Times||3/30/2021||Leak at old phosphate plant could cause discharges into Tampa Bay||View Article|
|Bradenton Herald||3/30/2021||Piney Point plans emergency release. Environmentalts fear impact on water quality||View Article|
|WMNF||4/4/2021||Current Events at Piney Point||View Article|
|Anna Maria Island Sun||4/5/2021||Reel Time: The Price of Inaction||View Article|
|Tampa Bay Times||4/5/2021||‘50,000 bags of fertilizer:’ What could Piney Point do to Tampa Bay?||View Article|
|WUSF||4/5/2021||Piney Point Wastewater Dump Could be Largest in Tampa Bay History||View Article|
|CBS Morning News||4/5/2021||Florida scrambles to avoid environmental disaster as Piney Point reservoir threatens flood||View Article|
|Univision News||4/5/2021||Ed Sherwood discusses what went wrong, and concerns for the local community and environment.||View Article|
|WSVN||4/5/2021||Engineers find no evidence of 2nd breach in Florida wastewater pond that threatens to break||View Article|
|WFTS||4/5/2021||No 'second area of seepage' at Piney Point, according to FL DEP||View Article|
|Wall Street Journal, Miami||4/5/2021||Florida Crews Race to Prevent Collapse of Wastewater Reservoir||View Article|
|WTSP||4/6/2021||As Piney Point wastewater drains into Tampa Bay, here's how to read water quality results||View Article|
|Florida Phoenix||4/6/2021||Piney Point threatens Tampa Bay, but other FL estuaries are in trouble, too||View Article|
|United States News||4/6/2021||Crews race to drain Florida wastewater reservoir on brink of collapse||View Article|
|Chemical & Engineering News||4/6/2021||Leaking Florida reservoir puts ecosystems at risk||View Article|
|Weather Channel (weather.com)||4/6/2021||Tampa Bay's Vital Seagrass Beds Could Be Endangered by Piney Point Wastewater Discharge||View Article|
|Insider||4/6/2021||Florida officials are pumping the leaking Piney Point reservoir's contaminated water into Tampa Bay, where it could cause even more problems||View Article|
|Washington Post||4/6/2021||As danger of major breach recedes, Florida seeks long-term solution for troubled plant||View Article|
|National Geographic||4/7/2021||Hazardous spill in Florida highlights environmental threat decades in the making||View Article|
|Sarasota Herald-Tribune||4/7/2021||Dumping of polluted wastewater from Piney Point continues, DEP working to treat water||View Article|
|The Daily Sun||4/7/2021||How will Piney Point affect us?||View Article|
|Bay News 9||4/9/2021||Tampa Bay Watch monitoring impacts from Piney Point discharge||View Article|
|CNN Digital||4/10/2021||Wastewater from Piney Point has Tampa Bay on edge for possible red tide, algae bloom||View Article|
|CBS News (National)||4/11/2021||Nearly "catastrophic" Piney Point wastewater leak could irreparably harm neighboring marine life, experts say||View Article|
|Tampa Bay Times||4/13/2021||Forecasting what comes next from Piney Point for Tampa Bay||View Article|
|Herald Tribune||4/14/2021||USF model shows path of polluted Piney Point discharge water as it spreads around Tampa Bay||View Article|
|Herald Tribune||4/19/2021||Scientists tracking environmental impacts from Piney Point wastewater releasedel shows path of polluted Piney Point discharge water as it spreads around Tampa Bay||View Article|
|Tampa Bay Times||4/21/2021||Will the Piney Point spill affect tourism this summer?||View Article|
|Tampa Bay Times||4/23/2021||Red Tide is cause of concern near Piney Point discharge in Tampa Bay||View Article|
|Bradenton Herald||4/23/2021||Red tide found near Anna Maria Island. Piney Point’s dirty water could make it worse||View Article|
|Bay News 9||5/4/2021||Florida will spend $100 million to clean up, close Piney Point||View Article|
|FOX13 News||5/5/2021||Learning the long-term impacts of Piney Point leak||View Article|
|Herald -Tribune||5/24/2021||Initial Pulse' of nutriet rich-water from Piney Point has Dissapaited, USF research shows||View Article|
|Florida Specifier||6/1/2021||State officials respond to latest phosphate mining waste impoundment failure||View Article|
|Tampa Bay Times||6/13/2021||Could Tampa Bay's Red Tide be connected to Piney Point disaster?||View Article|
|Bay News 9||7/7/2021||Elsa adds 9 million gallons of stormwater to Piney Point||View Article|
|NPR||7/13/2021||At Least 600 Tons Of Dead Fish Have Washed Up Along Tampa Bay's Shore||View Article|
|Brockovich Report||7/14/2021||Call It A Crisis: An Update on Piney Point & Tampa Bay||View Article|
|WTSP 10||7/26/2021||No, there isn't 'scientific consensus' on red tide impact from Piney Point||View Article|
|WMNF Mid Point||7/28/2021||Red Tide, Piney Point & Nutrient Pollution||View Article|