Ron DeSantis Signs ‘Radioactive Roads’ Bill Allowing Mining Waste Mining in New Highways

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed what critics are calling a “radioactive highways” bill that would allow the construction of new highways to use radioactive mining waste linked to cancer.

The bill, which DeSantis signed on Thursday, lists phosphogypsum as a “recyclable material” that can be used for road construction.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, phosphogypsum, a byproduct of phosphate fertilizer extraction, “emits radon, a radioactive gas” and contains uranium, thorium and radium. Radon is “potentially carcinogenic,” an EPA spokesperson told CBS News.

DeSantis, a 2024 GOP presidential candidate, did not comment. Tampa-based fertilizer giant Mosaic, which pushed the legislation, is seeking federal approval to test phosphogypsum, which the Tampa Bay Times says “could pave the way – literally – for the use of phosphogypsum on American roads”.

The new bill directs the Florida Department of Transportation to “evaluate the suitability” of using the material for road construction by April 1, 2024.

DeSantis is “setting the stage for a toxic legacy,” Elise Bennett, head of the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement, lamenting the bill as “reckless handouts to the fertilizer industry.”

“This opens the door for hazardous radioactive waste to be dumped on state roads under the guise of a so-called feasibility study that will not address serious health and safety concerns,” Bennett said.


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