Earlier this summer, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that paves the way for radioactive pollution to be used in road construction in communities throughout Florida. It’s a shameless giveaway to the phosphate mining industry at the expense of public health and the environment.
The new law allows “demonstration projects” that use phosphogypsum, a byproduct of phosphate mining which has long been deemed hazardous, in roadway construction. Phosphogypsum contains radium 226, a radioactive substance that creates radon, a cancer-causing gas, as it decays.
There is still a chance to prevent this environmental and public health threat from taking root in Florida. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must approve any plans to implement phosphogypsum in Florida road construction. They need to hear from you today.
The EPA already prohibits this toxic waste in roadway construction because it poses a significant risk to public health, water quality, the environment, and road construction workers. But Gov. DeSantis and his legislative allies want to make Florida a test subject for this reckless experiment being pushed by the fertilizer industry.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that chemical fertilizer company Mosaic has plans to incorporate 337 tons of phosphogypsum into a pilot program – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mosaic’s eventual goal is to market their poisonous material for use in road construction throughout the state, and perhaps the nation, so they can increase corporate profits at the expense of our health and the environment. Mosaic reported their net income as $3.6 billion last year alone.
Thank you for speaking out to protect the health of Florida residents, and to preserve our state’s precious water quality and environment.