NewsPiney Point Leak


Florida DEP files complaint to hold owners of Piney Point accountable for wastewater breach

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Posted at 6:20 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 23:16:16-04

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection filed a complaint initiating enforcement action against the owners of Piney Point, HRK Holdings, LLC.

The complaint outlines injunctive relief, cost recovery, attorney fees, damages and civil penalties sought for HRK's failure to comply with the following:

  • Requirements of Chapter 403, Florida Statutes, pertaining to the safe operation of phosphogypsum stack systems.
  • Requirements of Title 62, Florida Administrative Code, pertaining to surface and groundwater standards.
  • Provisions and requirements of the existing Consent Order and Administrative Agreement that HRK entered into with the department requiring them to remove the water from the site by 2019.
  • Financial assurance requirements.

DEP Interim Secretary Shawn Hamilton released a statement on the complaint:

“Today, the department took a pivotal step to ensure this is the final chapter for the Piney Point site and fulfill the agency's charge and dedication to holding HRK accountable. This action enforces compliance with the state’s environmental laws and all of HRK’s existing authorizations, orders and agreements with the department. The department is seeking the maximum allowable penalties and recovery of costs and damages under existing laws and regulations.

DEP’s priority continues to be the protection of human health and safety and the minimization of any potential impacts to the environment. We are committed to maintaining stringent regulatory oversight of activities at the site as we move forward with this enforcement action.

The ultimate goal remains closure of the site once and for all. We are confident the court-appointed receivership requested through this complaint will pave the way to expediting this process.”

The complaint also seeks the appointment of a court-ordered receiver to serve as an independent third party to oversee management and closure of the site and the financial management of these activities.

To read the full complaint, click here.