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DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein Onsite at Manatee County Emergency Operations Center, Provides Real-Time Updates on Piney Point

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2021

Mulberry, Fla. – Today, Governor DeSantis issued a State of Emergency for Manatee County due to a possible breach of mixed saltwater from the south reservoir at the Piney Point facility. The Governor has directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Division of Emergency Management to coordinate resources both in Tallahassee and at the site to ensure proper response and mitigation of risks in Manatee County.  

DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein was onsite today at the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center where he provided real-time updates on the state’s response efforts. The following statement is from Secretary Valenstein.

"The department’s top priority at this time is the protection of public health and safety. As a result of the State of Emergency declared by Governor DeSantis today, this will ensure resources are available for response and recovery.

Our first response activities are focused on ensuring releases are controlled and stopped as quickly as possible. We will then focus on our regulatory review and enforcement.

I assure you that DEP is dedicated to full enforcement for any damages to our state’s resources and holding HRK accountable for this event. We are completing rigorous water quality sampling daily to support any future enforcement action. While this water meets most water quality standards for marine waters, there are elevated levels of nutrients and the water is acidic. However, the water is not radioactive.

We are committed to working with Manatee County and utilizing all available resources to determine a permanent solution to this long-standing issue.” 

For information on public safety and evacuation guidance in this area, please visit MyManatee.org.