State takes milestone step toward final closure of Piney Point Facility
Conceptual closure plan lays framework for ensuring the site’s potential threat to the environment and surrounding community is eliminated permanently
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announces the issuance of an order approving the conceptual closure plan for the former Piney Point facility that was prepared at the direction of the site’s court-appointed receiver. Last year, Governor Ron DeSantis directed the development of a long-term closure plan to ensure that the potential threat to the environment and surrounding community is eliminated permanently. This responsibility was assumed by the court-appointed receiver upon his appointment in August 2021.
"Nearly one year ago, in order to prevent a catastrophic collapse of the NGS-South compartment at the site, DEP issued an emergency final order requiring that HRK Holdings, LLC take immediate action and implement all necessary steps to ensure the integrity of the stack system and its lined impoundments and prevent an uncontrolled discharge," said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. "Today, as a result of ongoing efforts on the part of DEP, Manatee County and the court-appointed receiver, we are in a significantly better place than we were then, and this approval marks a key milestone in ensuring this is the last chapter in the long history of Piney Point."
On April 3, 2021, Governor DeSantis declared a local state of emergency that allowed the state and local officials to act quickly by ensuring access to resources for response and recovery. The threat of an immediate catastrophic collapse of the NGS-South compartment was abated, and the prior emergency discharges ceased on April 9, 2021.
Since that time, DEP has maintained stringent regulatory oversight of ongoing activities at the site, including work by the court-appointed receiver that has focused on advancing water management, on-site repairs and cleanup work, site maintenance and long-term preparations for closure.