Florida Phosphate Industry Practices

MOSAIC Plant New Whales
MOSAIC Phosphate Mine Sinkhole
Sinkhole In Phosphogypsum Stack
Strong Acids and Aerosoles

Florida’s Public Trust Doctrine

Phosphate industry practices disrespect the sovereignty of the Public Trust Doctrine. Florida’s phosphate industry practices also illustrates the industry’s cavalier attitude concerning reclamation projects and is known to be poor environmental stewards of the Florida landscape.

Phosphate Mining Linked To Sinkholes

In the southwestern part of Polk County, fluctuations in water use related to phosphate mining have had a major impact on ground-water levels. United States Geological Survey (USGS), believes areas prone to sinkholes are located under the southwest central Florida earth and can be induced by large amounts of water consumption (Phosphate Strip Mines). This area covers over a thousand square miles in southwest central Florida.

Poor Environmental Stewards

Over the past seventy years, Florida’s phosphate industry let many man-made severe environmental accidents occur one after another over the years, causing serious environmental impacts to pristine “one of a kind” ecological regions of Florida.


Over the past seventy years, Florida’s phosphate industry let many man-made severe environmental accidents occur one after another over the years, causing serious environmental impacts to pristine “one of a kind” ecological regions of Florida. The Florida taxpayers are also paying for the court costs, attorney fees, and the like while the court battles continue daily between federal and state environmental agencies versus Florida’s phosphate industry officials.


The Peace River watershed lies in west central Florida about forty miles east of the Tampa Bay area. Florida’s Peace River was declared an “endangered river” by “American Rivers.org” a non-profit organization committed to protecting and restoring North American rivers.

The central Florida region holds unique pristine watersheds, marshlands, bogs, and other freshwater naturally occurring filtering systems. Watersheds are areas of land with waterways that flow to a common destination. Most of the region’s drinking water is pumped from aquifers that are “recharged” from the watersheds described above.


Florida Residence Take FIPR Survey on Poor Phosphate Industry Practices

Do Florida’s residents know about the phosphate industries abysmal practice of destroying Florida’s geographical environment for the phosphate some 40 feet beneath the surface?

The Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, (4) (FIPR) funded a survey conducted by the University of South Florida. The FIPR survey questions were all related to public awareness and attitudes apropos the Florida phosphate industry’s appalling environmental practices. Unfortunately, the Florida phosphate strip mining industry’s continuing environmental devastation is not a topic of interest for Florida’s local politicians and the local media as well. Little is said publicly about the irreparable damage caused by Florida’s phosphate strip mining industry.

The FIPR survey results show (70%) of Florida’s residences do not know of the destruction of Florida’s aquifer systems by the local phosphate industry, because they are not being informed on the topic. The local media rarely releases any information on the subject. The survey revealed 2.3% of Florida’s residence says they do understand Florida’s phosphate mining dilemma.

This survey’s results are based on a sample survey of (1,300) residence from four different geographical regions within Florida. These regions include the Florida panhandle, the Tampa Bay area west and south to Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Florida’s panhandle has very little phosphate and a small mining community. The FIPR survey shows this area has very little environmental aquifer system destruction due to phosphate strip mining.

However, the Tampa bay area and south into Manatee and Sarasota counties surround ground zero for the phosphate strip mining industry in Florida. Interestingly, most of the sinkholes also form in the counties surrounding ground zero. Ground zero is being defined as the Peace River Watershed, where most of the Florida phosphate strip mines are located.

The FIPR survey shows about (85%) of (2.3%) informed respondents were able to name at least one environmental problem caused by Florida’s phosphate strip mining industry. Water and wildlife were the most common concerns from most respondents. Florida residents in or near the phosphate mining regions are more likely to say they are informed about the environmental bomb shell caused by the Florida phosphate industry. The FIPR survey shows Florida’s residence as a whole in and around ground zero are not knowledgeable about the phosphate strip mining industry, (5) Tampa Bay Times

MOSAIC Phosphogypsum Stacks Are Radio-Active and Cover Central Florida

Phosphogypsum Stack

Phosphogypsum Stack


Phosphogypsum stacks can be  100’s of feet tall and can be as large as a square mile. These stacks are full of slightly radio-active material and strong acids.


Phosphate Overburden (Waste)

Phosphate Overburden


In 2003 the Florida phosphate industry as a whole, strip mined (4,501) acres of virgin Florida natural treasures.

Phosphate Slurry Piles
Phosphate Mining Slurry Piles
Before/After Phosphate Mining Boundry
Phosphogypsum Toxic Waste

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