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Piney Point being prepared for gusty winds, rain from Tropical Storm Elsa

Additional pumps and generators are being brought in to safeguard against potential power outages.

MANATEE COUNTY — As Tropical Storm Elsa heads toward Florida, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is keeping a close eye on storm preparations at the former Piney Point phosphate processing plant.

DEP officials are overseeing operations at the site that drew national attention after millions of gallons of wastewater were discharged into Tampa Bay earlier this year.

HRK Holdings, the owner of the since-abandoned phosphogypsum stack, has staff working to secure heavy equipment and adjusting water management levels in the ponds to ensure the site can endure strong winds and heavy rainfall, according to a news release.

Additional pumps and generators are also being incorporated to safeguard against potential power outages.

Approximately 215 million gallons are still held within the NGS-South compartment, according to DEP. State inspectors say pond level readings are expected to fluctuate due to a host of factors, including rainfall, water management activities and wind/associated waves in the pond.