ManaSota 88 Asks BOCC to Withdraw Deep Well Injection Application
BRADENTON – MansaSota 88, a non-profit organization that has spent over 30 years fighting to protect the environment of Manatee and Sarasota counties, is urging the Manatee County Commission to withdraw its application for an Underground Injection Control Well at Piney Point.
The organization's chairman, Glenn Compton, sent the following letter to commissioners on Monday.
ManaSota-88 respectfully requests that the Manatee Board of County Commissioners withdraw the application for an Underground Injection Control Well at Piney Point and place this item on the agenda for the next Manatee County Board of County Commission meeting.
ManaSota-88 continues to oppose construction of any deep injection well in the vicinity of the former Piney Point Phosphate Plant.
Groundwater pollution detection is an inexact science, it is easy to miss a toxic plume. Our knowledge of the health risks of long-term exposure to toxic & radioactive substances in phosphate wastewater is very limited.
There are many problems associated with deep well injection. All wells are subject to failure and there are too many unknowns to safely inject treated or partially treated effluent. The operation of a deep well relies very heavily on predictions and good faith.
Deep well injection is done because liquid wastes that cannot be discharged into surface waters are injected into deep wells. Thus, the worst wastes end up in these wells. If a failure occurs, very little can be done to correct it. If an aquifer is contaminated, it's too late.
Confining layers don't confine and effluents will ultimately migrate beyond the point of injection.
Monitoring programs are highly ineffective. Little is known of the chemistry and the biology of phosphate related well-injected wastes, excepting that those wastes move underground.
While the models upon which decisions to inject wastes are based, look good on paper, changing conditions in the aquifers can allow wastewater to seep into the groundwater supply, and it would be too late then, to correct the problem.
Groundwater is one of our most precious natural resources. Contaminated groundwater is extremely difficult, expensive and time-consuming to clean up. It is impossible to pump and treat all the contaminated groundwater in a plume and some of the contaminants will cling to soil particles and remain untreated in any event.
There are no easy answers to getting rid of the radioactive and toxic wastewater at the former Piney Point Phosphate Plant, however, deep well injection is not a solution that should be considered.