Florida Lawmakers Want To Use Radioactive Material To Pave Roads

Florida lawmakers’ proposal to use phosphogypsum, a radioactive material, to pave roads has prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to require a review.

Roads in Florida could soon include phosphogypsum — a radioactive waste material from the fertilizer industry — under a bill lawmakers have sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Conservation groups are urging DeSantis to veto the bill, saying phosphogypsum would hurt water quality and put road construction crews at a higher risk of cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency also has a say in the matter: The agency regulates phosphogypsum, and any plan to use it in roads would require a review, the EPA told NPR.

Here’s what to know about the law and about phosphogypsum.

What would the law do, specifically?

HB 1191 would compel the Florida Transportation Department to study using phosphogypsum in paving projects, calling for “demonstration projects using phosphogypsum in road construction aggregate material to determine its feasibility as a paving material.”

If it’s approved, phosphogypsum would join pavement aggregates such as crushed stone, gravel and sand. In recent years, the Federal Highway Administration says, industrial byproducts and reclaimed materials have also been used as aggregates.

The bill sets a deadline of April 1, 2024, giving the transportation agency less than a year to complete its work and make a recommendation. The Republican-dominated Florida Legislature approved the measure by a wide margin.

According to the New York Post, New York is slated to become the first state to ban natural gas stoves, and residents are “furious”.

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