TALLAHASSEE - Piney Point has received approximately 23 inches of rain since the beginning of June, and is expected to receive at least another 11 inches by the end of September. The current storage capacity for additional rainfall at the site is approximately 11 inches. This capacity is expected to change with rainfall amounts as well as adjusted water management activities at the site.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is overseeing HRK's efforts to mange water onsite by reinstating daily piping and trucking of water to nearby water treatment facilities, and enhancing ongoing water management and treatment efforts at the site. The priority remains to pursue all available water management tools to ensure safe storage capacities for rainfall during the next months to avoid the risk of uncontrolled or untreated discharges from the site.
HRK continues to manage rainwater runoff through its permitted outfalls to the drainage ditch along Buckeye Road. This is rainwater, not wastewater from the compartment areas onsite. Samples of the stormwater are collected by HRK daily to ensure it meets the requirements of HRK’s discharge permit and water quality standards.
Key status updates and response activities:
- On Aug. 14, 2021, DEP filed a Motion for Emergency Hearing regarding its request for of a court-appointed receiver to serve as an independent third party to oversee management and closure of the Piney Point site. This request was included in DEP’s enforcement action against HRK and in a motion in an ongoing foreclosure case concerning the site, both of which were filed on Aug. 5, 2021. Learn more by reviewing DEP’s Motion for Emergency Hearing, enforcement complaint and a frequently asked questions document.
- Approximately 266 million gallons are currently held within the NGS-South compartment. Pond level readings are expected to fluctuate due to a host of factors, including rainfall, water management activities and wind/associated waves in the pond.
Innovative technology companies have been onsite treating water since April 2021, and this is ongoing. As a result of these innovative water treatment practices, nutrients, including Total Phosphorus (TP) and Total Nitrogen (TN), have been significantly reduced. To date, approximately 200 tons of TN and 150 tons of TP have been removed from ponded wastewater.
- DEP continues to monitor and sample surrounding waterways following previous discharges. DEP's interactive water quality dashboard details sampling locations and corresponding results to evaluate any environmental impact. Results will continue to be posted as soon as they are available.
- DEP is also working collaboratively with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) and local governments to cover more area and collect more data. For a comprehensive view of all sampling in Tampa Bay related to Piney Point, visit TBEP's interactive water quality dashboard.
- DEP continues working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Department of Health to monitor algal blooms and water quality. FWC is the lead agency on red tide and will continue to update conditions on their website. For more information on red tide, please visit ProtectingFloridaTogethe
Residents can find the latest information on the status of the site and response activities at ProtectingFloridaTogether.
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