Tampa Bay stares down environmental disaster

Axios: Tampa Bay stares down environmental disaster.

A worsening series of breaches in a 800-million-gallon holding pool at the Piney Point industrial site prompted Manatee County to evacuate residents within about a mile of the plant tonight.

  • The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol closed off roads in the evacuation zone around U.S. 41 in Palmetto, per the Bradenton Herald, and the Red Cross has been called in to assist.

The latest: Acting Manatee County administrator Scott Hopes addressed reporters at a press conference around 9:20pm.

  • Hopes said the water being discharged into Tampa Bay — at the rate of 22,000 gallons per minute, or 32 million gallons per day — is acidic and smells of ammonia, but said the pool supported wildlife like snook and ducks.

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