Inside the effort to close Piney Point and keep Tampa Bay safe

With a new overseer in charge, Florida finally has a plan to shut down an old environmental scourge.

PALMETTO — The site of the former Piney Point fertilizer plant is still an environmental threat hanging like an anvil over Tampa Bay.

But one year since a reservoir on the property sprang a leak — leading to the release of 215 million gallons of polluted water into the bay — new management is offering a sense of hope that an end to the danger is within reach.

A pipe snaking to Port Manatee no longer spits tainted water. Engineers stopped warning of an imminent collapse and devastating flood. And a judge ordered an independent overseer to take control of the property from its struggling owner, a company formed by Wall Street investors.

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