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Water-Related News

One stack capped, three to go after $75 million spent following Piney Point disaster

MANATEE COUNTY – Before the Piney Point stack rupture nearly three years ago, there was a lot of finger pointing, but very little progress toward closing it.

$75 million later, one out of four stacks is capped and the court-appointed receiver assigned to close Piney Point is hopeful the process is on schedule moving forward.

The end of next March will mark three years since stack water spewed into the environment through a breach in what is known as “new gyp stack south.”

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) then decided to release 215 million gallons into the bay to relieve pressure on the structure.

Herb Donica was appointed by the court two years ago to close Piney Point with as little environmental impact as possible. He took 8 On Your Side to the top of the four stacks that rise above Manatee County.

Old gyp stack south is now filled with layers of liner material and sand, topped off with grass and equipped with a drainage system that routes storm water one direction and potentially contaminated water into a retention pond.