Gov. Scott: 'The public should have known' about toxic sinkhole

Posted at 12:22 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 17:23:43-04

Governor Rick Scott told reporters Tuesday morning the current law needs to change to let the public know immediately when something like a sinkhole opens up, flushing millions of gallons of toxic water into the aquifer.

But he stopped short of an apology likeMosaic executives gave last week.

Governor Scott arrived at Mosaic’s New Wales facility to get a briefing with Mosaic, DEP and EPA officials. He also got an aerial tour of the sinkhole and the work being done to monitor the flow of the toxic water.

“We clearly had a law with regard to public notification that didn’t make sense. There’s no common sense to this and when we have pollution, whether its a company, a city or a county, we have to notify people because it’s the right thing to do,” Governor Scott told reporters.

The governor’s office announced on Monday that it notified the FDEP of a new emergency rule  that requires the public to be notified within 24 hours of potential pollution, like the sinkhole on Mosaic’s property.

He wouldn’t say if DEP officials did wrong by not telling the public.

“DEP followed the existing law. The law is outdated. Bottom line is the law is outdated. There should have been public notification,” he said.

It appears Mosaic engineers got the point.

“We learned our lesson,” said David Jellerson, Senior Director of Environmental and Phosphate Projects for Mosaic.

Since the hole became public, the company has received requests for more than 500 water tests to be done on private wells.

The company doing the company, Environmental Consultants and Technology out of Tampa, reports that so far the results have come back with normal readings, however, radioactivity results take longer.

The first wave of results that test for radioactivity should come in Wednesday, according to ECT.

READ MORE | Full coverage of the massive sinkhole

Watch the full news conference above. 

We also Facebook Live Streamed the news conference, you can watch below.