The Verge: The Wastewater Disaster in Florida is a Symptom of How We Grow Our Food


Residents in Manatee County, Florida have been evacuated over Easter weekend due to the potential leakage of contaminated wastewater at a former phosphate plant. Decades prior, phosphate was mined there for fertilizer use. Since the plant’s closure in 2001, there remains three phosphogypsum stacks containing radioactive industrial byproduct. Florida provides 25% of the world’s phosphate, and because the state is built on porous rocks, it is susceptible to sinkholes. The radioactivity isn’t major concern to human health, but it poses a greater threat to local marine life if leaked. In order to prevent more industrial buildup, farmers are looking into regenerative farming which utilizes other crops to restore soil nutrients instead of synthetic fertilizers. For more information, read the article by Justine Calma on The Verge here.

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