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Judge appoints third party receiver to oversee Piney Point closure

Florida called for an emergency hearing over concerns of the facility's reservoir overflowing due to continued rainfall.

MANATEE COUNTY – A judge appointed a receiver to oversee the management and eventual closure of the former Piney Point phosphate mining facility, the Department of Environmental Protection says.

The decision is part of a larger lawsuit the state filed against Piney Point's property owners, HRK Holdings. Earlier this month, FDEP called for an emergency hearing of its lawsuit due to concerns that continued rainfall would cause the wastewater that sits inside the facility's reservoirs to overflow.

As of Wednesday, Piney Point has received 24.4 inches of rain, and the state expects another 9 inches by the end of September. DEP says the facility can only hold 11 more inches of rainfall.

If crews are not able to lower water levels in time, then FDEP says another wastewater release would have to happen.