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Weather & Science

Hurricane Ian Has Potential for ‘Catastrophic’ Leak

  • Florida home to much of US phosphate fertilizer output
  • Storage of toxic wastewater, byproducts a concern: groups
Bloomberg business news
WATCH: Hurricane Ian made a landfall in Florida with a massive surge of water and catastrophic winds. ABC News’ Morgan Norwood reports.Source: Bloomberg

As Floridians board up their homes and businesses brace for Hurricane Ian’s impact, environmental groups worry there’s one big hazard that’s been left exposed to storm damage: pools and stacks that contain a toxic fertilizer byproduct.

Florida is home to much of America’s production of phosphate fertilizer and Ian’s current trajectory has its sights set east of Tampa, where Mosaic Co. has the bulk of its phosphate facilities. Environmental experts worry the possibility of storm damage poses a serious risk for a toxic spill due to the way phosphate is produced and its byproducts are stored.