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President Office — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 5, 2021

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229,
Kathy Galea, (941) 400-9076


Senator Boyd to Offer Budget Amendment to Ensure Full Clean Up and Restoration of Piney Point

Tallahassee —

Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) and Senator Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) today announced that the Senate will consider a budget amendment to fund the complete cleanup and closure of the phosphogypsum stacks at Piney Point in Manatee County. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Boyd, will be considered when the Senate takes up Senate Bill 2500, the General Appropriations Act, on Wednesday, April 7.

“This has been a catastrophe waiting to happen for too long. I have committed to Senator Boyd that the Senate will advocate for utilizing federal funding to ensure a full and complete clean up and restoration. We don’t want to be talking about this problem again in 5, 10, or 20 years. This is exactly the kind of longstanding infrastructure issue we need to address with the nonrecurring federal funds our state will receive from the American Rescue Plan,” said President Simpson.

“This is an issue that has impacted our community for a quarter of a century, and I am grateful to Governor DeSantis for prioritizing this cleanup and promising to hold the responsible parties accountable. With at least one prior accident and now another, recent events have illuminated the need to fix this problem and put it behind us once and for all,” said Senator Boyd. “I am grateful to President Simpson for his commitment to utilizing nonrecurring American Rescue Plan funds in a responsible manner to address this longstanding environmental and safety hazard. This is a huge step forward for our community.” 

The amendment will add Senator Boyd’s Local Funding Initiative #1155 to SB 2500, making the issue available for consideration when the Legislature finalizes the fiscal year 2021-22 budget later this month. President Simpson has committed to utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan to ensure full clean up and restoration, which has been anticipated to cost and upwards of $200 million.

“The state is not responsible for this breach; however, this is an environmental and public health issue that has to be addressed. Moving forward, the Senate will work with the Governor’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General to help recover any available funds for Florida taxpayers,” continued President Simpson.