POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) —- Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are expected to visit the Mosaic plant in Mulberry on Friday, weeks after a giant sinkhole opened up and sent millions of gallons of radioactive water into an aquifer.
Mosaic leaders and state officials have come under intense scrutiny for failing to notify nearby residents about potential dangers to their drinking water.
8 On Your Side was the first to expose the sinkhole.
Mosaic immediately notified the Florida Department of Environmental Protection about the sinkhole in late-August. Residents were told roughly three weeks later.
Weitz & Luxenberg, a New York-based law firm, announced on Thursday that it had filed a class action lawsuit in Florida over the contamination of the aquifer.
“This company showed disregard for the proper safety and management relative to storing radioactive wastewater on their property,” said Robin Greenwald, head of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit at Weitz & Luxenberg.
The sinkhole led to the contamination of at least 215 million gallons of water, the law group said.
When pressed about the issue Thursday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott dodged reporters’ questions about why the DEP took so long to notify residents about the sinkhole.
“They started doing their investigation immediately,” Gov. Scott said. “They’re working with Mosaic to make sure we put that information out as quickly as possible.”
READ MORE ABOUT THE MOSAIC SINKHOLE:
- Massive sinkhole drains contaminated water into Floridan aquifer
- 8 INVESTIGATES: Govt. knew about Mosaic sinkhole but did not notify public
- 8 INVESTIGATES: Private wells tested for contamination after sinkhole swallows radioactive water
- Polk County knew of Mosaic sinkhole in early September, but public wasn’t informe