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Don Rice

Faulty sinkhole reporting becomes hard lesson on rushing to judgment

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Big business is not automatically bad business. The Tampa Bay Times learned a hard lesson about assumptions and the truth this week after publishing the opinions of two retired scientists who accused Mosaic Co. and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection of ignoring warnings of a growing sinkhole on Mosaic property. While the allegations fed into a popular narrative of a nefarious corporation and government incompetence which led an environmental crisis, the claims were also something else. They were simply…

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Tampa Bay Times acknowledges its recent stories on Mosaic spill are inaccurate

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last week, the Tampa Bay Times quoted two retired hydrology experts who slammed the phosphate giant Mosaic and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection over the massive sinkhole that exploded under a gypsum stack at Mosaic’s New Wales plant in Mulberry last summer, resulting in 215 million gallons of radioactive wastewater released into the Florida aquifer. Don Rice and Mary Hrenda told the Times that a full year before the incident, monitoring wells around the stack showed a sinkhole was developing, and that both Mosaic and the DEP should have been aware…

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Mosaic pushes back hard against Tampa Bay Times over sinkhole reporting

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Following a report from the Tampa Bay Times’ Craig Pittman regarding the sinkhole that opened up on Mosaic Fertilizer’s property in late 2016, the company sent out a scathing rebuke to media alleging Pittman “continues to provide a platform for false information.” In the report, Pittman interviewed Don Rice, a former hydrologist from the U.S. Geological Survey, who alleges the company should have seen the signs of a sinkhole forming. Jackie Barron, a Mosaic spokeswoman, said the claims made in Pittman’s…

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