Florida officials sue Piney Point owners over sewage dumped in Tampa Bay

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is suing the owner of the former Piney Point fertilizer plant property for the leak earlier this year that ended in the pumping of more than 200 million gallons of polluted water in Tampa Bay.

Acting Secretary Shawn Hamilton said the state was seeking the maximum penalties allowed and recovery of costs and damages from the owner, HRK Holdings.

“Today the department has taken a critical step in ensuring this is the final chapter of the Piney Point site and fulfills the agency’s responsibility and commitment to hold HRK accountable, ”Hamilton said in a statement Thursday. environmental laws and all existing HRK authorizations, ordinances and agreements with the department. The department seeks the maximum allowable penalties and the recovery of costs and damages under applicable laws and regulations. “

The Tampa Bay Times reports fines of $ 50,000 per day for violating an order to remove polluted water from the site by 2019 and $ 15,000 per day for violating surface and groundwater standards .

The state also wants to recoup the nearly $ 46 million it has spent so far on emergency contracts at Piney Point and for the court to appoint a receiver to oversee the closure of the property.

The civil suit was filed in a Manatee County circuit court.

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