The Environmental Protection Agency recently withdrew a 2020 rule that allowed the radioactive waste byproduct phosphogypsum to be used in road construction.
The rule was established by the Trump administration back in October of 2020. Several environmental groups would sue the decision which led to the recent reversal.
Phosphogypsum, or gypsum, is the byproduct of phosphate mining. There's no safe way of disposing of it so the EPA only allows the waste to be dumped into man-made hills called gypsum stacks.
One gypsum stack was at the center of a state of emergency earlier this year here in Tampa Bay.
Fears of an "imminent collapse" at the former Piney Point phosphate processing plant caused mass evacuations after a leak was discovered at the bottom of a retention pond in one of the site's stacks. More than 400 million gallons of nutrient-rich wastewater were released into the bay as a result of the leak.
Across Florida, there are 25 such stacks - 22 of which are concentrated in just Manatee, Hillsborough, and Polk Counties.
- Hurricane Elsa: Tampa Bay in forecast cone for Category 1 storm
- Sha'Carri Richardson apologizes after positive drug test disrupts her Olympic plans
- Devastated condo community looks to Biden visit for comfort
- Bodies of 2 children found in rubble of Surfside collapse, mayor says; number of deaths climb to 18
- Game 3 preview: Lightning striking first has winning results in playoffs
- Bill Cosby freed from prison after sexual assault conviction overturned
- A Frank Conversation: New podcast explores race, religion, politics and more
►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app
►Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter