US Army Corps of Engineers Convenes Workshop on Phosphate's Future
There were no surprise issues on Oct. 6th when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers convened a warm-up work session for the formal process that will begin next year to look at the environmental impact of phosphate mining in this part of Florida.
The crowd of about 200 who attended a series of sessions at The Lakeland Center discussed the competing issues of economics versus environment.
The economic arguments were about preserving jobs in Polk County and as far away as Tampa.
Representatives of the Port of Tampa distributed literature outlining the importance of the tons of annual phosphate shipments to its bottom line.
The fertilizer industry added its pleas for recognizing the importance of its product, variants of the industry's "Phosphate Feeds You" slogan.... Those practices have both boosted crop yields in the Midwest corn belt and produced dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of massive nutrient runoff.