MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — The conceptual closure plan for Piney Point has officially been approved, according to an announcement from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Thursday.
The announcement comes nearly a year after Governor Ron DeSantis allocated millions of dollars so the DEP could permanently close Piney Point.
"This approval marks a key milestone in ensuring this is the last chapter in the long history of Piney Point," said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton.
The anticipated date for the final completion of closure is December 2024, per the conceptual closure plan, and includes a phased approach to closure.
"Once all water is removed from the reservoir areas, the stacks will receive fill material and new liners as needed, and a 2-foot-thick soil and vegetative cover system that will be sloped to ensure runoff of clean, non-contact rainwater into the existing stormwater management system. "Notches" will be incorporated into the walls of the reservoirs so that the reservoir areas, once closed, will no longer build up water and will only function to provide stormwater management and control stormwater discharge rates. This closure design will be integrated into the site’s existing stormwater management system."
DEP said it will continue "seeking the maximum allowable penalties and recovery of costs and damages under existing laws and regulations and will continue to pursue all avenues to ensure accountability" against the owners of Piney Point, HRK Holdings, LLC.
For more information on the site status and ongoing response activities, visit protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPointUpdate.