Last year a giant sinkhole opened up in September underneath a gypsum deposit, which contaminated some of the groundwater of local residents within the radius of the sinkhole. A Florida Judge tossed out the ruling on reporting pollution which was made mandatory by Gov. Rick Scott to help locals and keep the public aware of the hazardous materials that could cause potential health effects.

Public awareness

The ruling was tossed out on Friday, December 30 when a Judge said that the FDEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) overstepped its authority to approve the new rule that states any incident such as the sinkhole should be made public and should be kept in awareness at all times with local residents.

The new rule stated that only the legislators could enact the change to the law and the requirements in notifying the public on pollution or contamination of natural resources.

This change to the ruling was based on Mosaic keeping the FDEP quiet about the matter with the sinkhole that happened in one of their Mulberry facilities. For three weeks the public was not notified about the sinkhole and many residents were concerned about radiation or other chemicals getting into the water supply. Many residents called local news channels and resources to test their water for any poisons that could affect their health in any way.

The department argued that the law did not require Mosaic to notify the public unless the contamination showed up in higher numbers that could pose a serious concern to the health and safety of wildlife and residents near the facility.

This didn't pose well with the Governor and suggested a change should be made to the Florida law regarding health and safety of residents and how issues such as the sinkhole in Mulberry should be properly addressed.

Tossed aside

The change was brought because the situation was not addressed to local officials and officials of the state, which includes Gov.

Rick Scott. The statement read that any pollution should be notified to the public within 24-hours of the incident. But the ruling and the change the Governor wanted was tossed out by the Judge stating that it was a breach of power from the Department of Environmental Protection. The ruling also was meant for the incident in St.

Pete after Hurricane Hermine where gallons of sewage were dumped into Tampa Bay and why St. Pete officials were not notified about the incident that occurred.

The ruling was posted November 15 of last year but was challenged by Associated Industries of Florida and other major organizations that work with logistics and agriculture within the state. The Judge tossed the rule saying that legislation did not approve of the change and that the law states only the Department of Environmental Protection be notified and no one else. So far three residents near the gypsum plant in Mulberry are suing Mosaic for health risks and any test done to residents homes failed to find high levels of radiation or other chemicals that could cause health concerns in their water.

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