MANATEE -- Cleanup efforts Friday were the focus of a Piney Point company that has been repairing its facility after emergency discharges of millions of gallons per day through the area.
HRK Holdings LLC has been removing material deposited in ditches near its site at 13300 U.S. 41 N., according to a status report dated Friday.
“To date, cleanup efforts have been focused on the off-site impacts, primarily in the ditch system reporting to Bishop Harbor,” said Jordan Levy, HRK’s chief executive officer, in the report.
The company has converted a former phosphate plant to a facility that disposes of dredge materials from a Port Manatee construction operation.
But last month, it reported difficulties, and state environmental officials OK’d emergency discharges in order to ensure the huge facility’s structural integrity, according to the state order issued May 29.
The company was finally able to halt the discharges last week, and the clean-up operation began.
The company Friday also focused on management at its site of remaining seawater, which is used in moving dredge material, and the management of future storm water, the report said.
Company officials suspect that breaches in a plastic liner in a compartment at its facility caused leaks, they have said previously.
The company removed part of the liner and sent it to an Orlando lab operated by Ardaman & Associates Inc. for failure analysis, the report said. Results are expected in the next week.
State water quality testing showed some of the discharge had been contaminated with the toxic heavy metal cadmium and higher-than-normal nutrient levels.
But the company’s report noted well tests showed water quality in the neighborhood to be within normal drinking water standards.
“We look forward to the conclusion of Ardaman’s investigation, and the resumption of dredging shortly, the report said.
“Despite all of the obstacles that the project has encountered to date, HRK and its partners in the project would like to emphasize the tremendous economic benefit which the completion of the project will afford our community.
“HRK is committed to the safe and environmentally responsible completion of the project.”
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7031.