Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Not One More Inch: End Phosphate Mining in Manatee County

Florida phosphate mine

More than 300,000 acres in Florida have been destroyed by harmful phosphate mining, with less than half that area reclaimed -- but now the Mosaic Company wants to take another 3,500 acres from Manatee County.

Phosphate mining destroys landscapes, communities and wildlife habitat, leaving the land scarred and contaminated. It involves ripping up the earth to dig down 60 to 80 feet and transporting the dug-out material by pipeline to a plant, where phosphate ore is extracted in a process that leaves behind massive clay "slime" ponds that cover 40 percent of the mined-out land.

Once extracted, the ore is treated with sulfuric acid to produce fertilizer. This process creates the radioactive waste product phosphogypsum, which is stored in mountainous stacks. More than 1 billion tons of phosphogypsum are already piled up atop the Floridan aquifer. These stacks are prone to sinkholes and threaten the drinking water of nearly 10 million Floridians. The expansion of phosphate mining in Manatee County would threaten freshwater resources in the Myakka and Peace River watersheds, which have already suffered from phosphate mining.

Using the form on this page, tell the Army Corps you don't want it to give up one more inch of Florida's precious environment to the phosphate-mining industry.

Please take action by July 24, 2017.

Photo of Florida phosphate mine by Jaclyn Lopez/Center for Biological Diversity.

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