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Environment

Neighboring Residents take Legal Action after Sinkhole at Fertilizer Plant

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Krista Kennedy via Flickr
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An attorney representing three central Florida residents in a federal lawsuit against Mosaic says the legal action is about ensuring safe drinking water. The proposed class-action suit was filed after a sinkhole beneath a Mosaic plant near Lakeland sent 200 million gallons of waste water into the Floridan aquifer.

The lawsuit is the first against Mosaic since the phosphate and potash producer, the world’s largest, reported the sinkhole to government agencies in late August.The company did not disclose the sinkhole to neighboring residents for nearly a month.

The suit says nearly 5,000 residents live within five miles of the sinkhole and get water from private wells.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says no contamination has been found beyond the Mosaic property but that monitoring of nearby wells will continue.

The Floridan aquifer is the largest in the southeast and a major source of drinking water.