News And Updates
Published By: Herald Tribune
You recently published a guest column by Tom Myers, who is an assistant vice president of Mosaic, a phosphate mining company. It was titled "Mosaic builds environmental safeguards into Altman tract plan."
One might believe his soothing words about how much care his company will take to restore the land after the phosphate mining is completed. But one should first take a look, via Google Earth, at the Four Corners area where Mosaic wants to increase its operation on 2,048 acres in Manatee County. Now, one cannot be sure which mines are still in operation and which are exhausted, but the fact is that much of the area looks like the surface of the moon. Then, cast your mind back to the two huge pools of contaminated and mildly radioactive water that were in artificial lakes near Port Manatee for years while it was decided how to deal with them after the phosphate company that was responsible went into bankruptcy.
In the end, Manatee County paid plenty to dump that water and complete the cleanup.
Manatee County is absolutely justified in denying approval of this new area for phosphate mining, unless Mosaic wants to make an escrow deposit before work starts to cover all possible cleanup costs. Then, it needs to explain to residents what actual benefits will accrue to the county, apart from a fire station and a park in Duette. How about a realistic contribution to Bright Futures scholarships?
David J. Curry