Palmetto, FL (STL.News) Governor Ron DeSantis announced next steps in the state’s response to the ongoing issues at Piney Point. The Governor is directing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop a long-term plan to close the site.
Governor DeSantis was joined at the Piney Point facility in Manatee County by Senate President Wilton Simpson, Senator Jim Boyd, Representative Tommy Gregory, Representative Will Robinson, DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein and the entire Manatee County Board of County Commission.
“The longstanding problems at Piney Point must end,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am directing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop a plan to close Piney Point to ensure this never happens again. I am redirecting $15.4 million for innovative technologies to pre-treat water at the site.”
DEP’s team of engineers and scientists, who are critical to response efforts, will develop a plan for site closure, which moves the state forward with a science-focused and thoughtful approach. This plan will ensure this closure is the last chapter in the long history of Piney Point.
“I want to thank the Governor and Legislature for their leadership and support in closing this site once and for all,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “While we take this next critical step, our legal team will continue to fully investigate the incident here at Piney Point in order take any and all legal actions to ensure we hold HRK and any other actors fully accountable.”
To assist DEP in ongoing restoration and mitigation efforts, Governor DeSantis also announced that he is redirecting $15.4 million from existing appropriations at DEP to be used for innovative technologies to pre-treat water at the site.
At today’s event, Senate President Wilton Simpson expressed the Senate’s support to supplement these immediate actions with future funding appropriations, starting with an estimated $100 million in the coming fiscal year.