Hazardous Waste Being Mixed into Roads

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gypstackwikicommons In: Hazardous Waste Being Mixed into Roads | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Florida gypstack. Photo Wikimedia Commons.

This needs to be banned everywhere and a good place to start is Columbia County and all counties through which the Sant Fe River flows.  We cannot imagine any county allowing this material on their roadways.

As we well know, what goes on our roads will end up in our aquifer and we certainly do not want  these toxic substances in our drinking water.

Another fine example of our EPA taking good care of us.

See the ManaSota-88 website here at this link.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
[email protected]
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum


 

Hazardous Waste Being Mixed into Roads

The Hillsborough County commissioners recently voted to ban the use of phosphogypsum in any county road construction

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of phosphogypsum in road construction. Phosphogypsum is the radioactive waste product left over from the production of fertilizer, and Florida has a lot of phosphogypsum.

High radionuclide levels, increased health risks, increased groundwater contamination and lack of state regulatory oversight are some of the many reasons why phosphogypsum should not be used in road construction.

The distribution of phosphogypsum will unnecessarily expose workers, the environment, and the general public to otherwise avoidable radiation exposure.

To allow the use of phosphogypsum as a construction material is the height of irresponsibility. Allowing phosphogypsum to be used for road construction will open the regulatory door for the use of phosphogypsum in construction or agricultural applications. The radioactive decay of this material will emit particles that can cause increased cancer risks and unacceptable radiation levels in areas normally not having such problems.

To date, there have been no published scientific studies confirming that there is a “safe” industrial process to convert phosphogypsum for uses such as roads. EPA’s exemption to their own radiation rule seems to be based more on EPA’s failure to reduce in the generation of toxic phosphogypsum rather than reducing the public health hazard posed by this material. All uses of phosphogypsum can cause significant health risks.

In addition to high radium 226 levels, central Florida phosphogypsum also contains significant amounts of sulfur and various heavy metals such as arsenic, barium, cadmium, and lead. Contaminated water and dissolved materials containing these toxins have the potential to seep from phosphogypsum used for construction purposes and pollute the underlying aquifer.

Phosphate companies have had more than 50 years to figure out a way to dispose of the radioactive gypsum wastes in an environmentally acceptable manner but have yet to do so. Instead, the industry is producing tens of millions of tons of waste annually, and the industry continues to expand its dumping operations.

ManaSota-88 has requested that the Manatee and Sarasota County Commission ban the use of phosphogypsum in any of the county’s road projects.

The Board of Sarasota County Commissioners may be reached at: [email protected]

The Board of Manatee County Commissioners may be reached by clicking: 
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