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Manatee County Commission preserves 'vested rights' for Mosaic phosphate mines

MANATEE COUNTY — In a series of unanimous votes Thursday, the Manatee County Commission amended plans for two of Mosaic Fertilizer’s phosphate mines in the Myakka-Duette area.

The revisions involve extending deadlines for the 3,028-acre Wingate Creek Mine and the continued use of clay settling areas at the 2,508-acre Southeast Tract, where mining has been completed and most of the land has undergone environmental restoration.

“We are not asking for additional land to be mined,” said Hugh McGuire, attorney for Mosaic.

The changes partly involve transferring requirements in previous state-mandated “developments of regional impact” into updated local land development agreements. In 2015, the state dismantled the DRI process of getting regional approvals of major developments that could have impacts across county lines.

Mosaic officials said they wanted “vested rights” from what has become an obsolete document under state law reiterated in the county-approved mining plans. They added that they are not seeking changes in groundwater withdrawals, trucking routes, ore processing or zonings.