Opinion: Phosphate Polluters

Glenn Compton
In line with polluters working in the present political climate to gut environmental regulations, are members of the phosphate industry. Fertilizer companies are working to eliminate the ban on the use of phosphogypsum at both the state and national levels.
One of ManaSota-88's major objectives is to limit the exposure of the public to radon from phosphogypsum. Unfortunately, the very lives of Floridians continue to be placed at risk by self-serving politicians, consultants, and the mining industry. 
There is general agreement among credible scientists that there is no harmless level of radiation. There is evidence that low-level radon exposure may have a greater relative risk than higher levels of radon exposure. This evidence is recognized and incorporated by EPA's risk estimate ranges. 
We need to maintain strong phosphogypsum rules and develop other protective regulations. Radon is one of the most significant public health hazards regardless of how scientists work the data. 
Strong industry efforts continue to gut limited phosphate industry regulation. Current regulations are not adequate to address the harm that is occurring from the use of phosphate fertilizers. We should not continue to subsidize the phosphate industry with free water use, preferential electric rates, the right to contaminate ground and surface water and pollute wetlands, etc. Instead, we should curb the overuse of phosphate. 
The ensuing transfer of phosphorous into surface ecosystems is a real and major risk to the long-term health of ecosystems worldwide. 
A side effect of sustained heavy phosphorous fertilizer additions can be the accumulation and introduction into the human food chain of heavy metal contaminants contained in fertilizers. Phosphate fertilizer use has significantly increased soil cadmium levels. There is still no agreement on safe cadmium limits for soils. 
While the phosphate industry appears to be only interested in selling as much phosphate as possible, no matter what the damage is to our environment, ManaSota-88 will work with groups to limit phosphate fertilizer use to what can be proven necessary. 
Please visit https://phosphogypsumfreeamerica.org to learn more about the hazardous & toxic substances found in phosphogypsum, and please sign the petition to demand EPA protect us from phosphogypsum radioactive waste. 

Glenn Compton is the Chairman of ManaSota 88, a non-profit organization that has spent over 30 years fighting to protect the environment of Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Reader Comments
Tom Skoloda
APR 15, 2021  •  Pumping these waste products underground may come back to haunt us. In addition, the phosphate companies continue to pollute our environment with support from County officials.
Jack Ballinger
APR 14, 2021  •  It seems a done deal that the commissioners will go forward with deep well injection of the remaining water. Truly scary. How about this? 1. Do everything possible to prevent more water from entering the system. The wet season is not far away. 2. pump out 500-1000 gallons a day, but only on the strongest part of the outgoing tide. 3. Clean it as much as possible before it's discharged. 4. Learn.
Kris Perry
APR 14, 2021  •  Why has there been no reporting on the nitrogen and phosphorus levels in either the Piney Point lake or the discharge into the Gulf. No salinity levels or pH either. Are the Florida environmental regulators taking samples or are they keeping the information from the public?
Richard Jackson
APR 14, 2021  •  Incisive treatment of a crucially important matter!