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Public Invited to Free Discussion on Phosphate Mining

BRADENTON – The League of Women Voters of Manatee County will present a panel discussion on phosphate mining featuring representatives of the environmental movement, government and the industry at a free event on Monday, February 11, at the Bradenton Woman's Club.

Much has been written about phosphate–its uses in agriculture, as well as its potential to do harm. A lot of concern has been raised about the environmental and health impacts of the toxins released by current and past phosphate mining in Manatee County.

Should more mining be allowed? Environmentalists say no, the risks are too great. The company says yes; it follows all the rules and provides jobs. And what can be done about past mining problems (ie. the Piney Point toxic storage site) to prevent millions of gallons of hazardous waste from spilling into our waters?

The panel will include Andre Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper and Vice Chair of the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club; Charlie Hunsicker, Director of Manatee County's Natural Resources Department; and Russell Schweiss, Director, Public Affairs, Land and Resource Strategies, who has previously worked for both the FDEP and the Mosaic Company. Each speaker will give a presentation, which will be followed by questions and discussion with the audience.

The event will take place from noon to 1:00 p.m. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. for an optional buffet lunch and social time ($5 donation for lunch). The Bradenton Woman's Club is located at 1705 Manatee Ave. West. Reservations are not required.


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