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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 7, 2010
CONTACT: Dee Ann Miller, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 519-2898 (cell)

 

DEP Makes PCS Sinkhole Updates Available on the Web

-- New Webpage provides updates on sinkhole containment -

TALLAHASSEE - On December 10, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was notified by PCS Phosphate Company of a sinkhole which was discovered inside its phophogypsum stack system at PCS’ Swift Creek Chemical Complex in Hamilton County. The Swift Creek Chemical Complex is located just east of US 41, approximately 10 miles northwest of White Springs, Florida. The stack system stores process wastewater and gypsum resulting from PCS’ phosphate fertilizer manufacturing operations at this site.

It is estimated that 84 million gallons of process water was released into groundwater through the sinkhole. However, based on site inspections and ongoing collection of monitoring data, it appears that PCS’ production wells are containing the process water on site – thereby not contaminating the aquifer offsite or nearby potable drinking water wells. In an abundance of caution DEP has continued its monitoring of the process wells, local private wells and the waters of the Suwannee River.

“Our first concern is the protection of public health and safety. DEP has continued to work with PCS and the appropriate agencies to contain the process water,” said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “We are pleased that monitoring to date has not shown any groundwater contamination off property.”

To keep the public aware of these efforts and any developments DEP has developed a new Webpage to provide up-to-date information on it ongoing sampling and monitoring. The information is available at www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/pcs_sinkhole

“This new webpage allows us to make the information about these efforts readily available to the public,” said Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs, Mimi Drew. “We want the public to have real-time information and data about our efforts.”

Residents are encouraged to contact DEP directly with questions and concerns at (850) 488-8217. Citizens who may be concerned about their drinking water supply can contact the Hamilton County Health Department at (386) 792-1414.

sinkhole

"DEP has continued to work with PCS and the appropriate agencies to contain the process water."

Michael W. Sole
DEP Secretary

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Last updated: January 11, 2010

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