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WGCU-TV Series, "In Focus," To Take Critical Look at Phosphate Mining in Southwest Florida
5/11/2001

WGCU-TV, Public Television for Florida's Gulf Coast University, will present a hard-hitting look at the controversy surrounding phosphate mining's proposed expansion into Southwest Florida on an expanded edition of IN FOCUS, Friday, June 15 at 9 p.m., with encore presentations on Saturday, June 16 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 17 at 11 p.m. Through field reports and thorough investigative journalism, IN FOCUS will examine the balance between the prosperity of the phosphate mining industry and protecting Florida's delicate ecosystem.

Its detractors are playing the ecological card. And, at first glance, environment may seem to take precedence over Florida's relatively unknown phosphate industry. But, In fact, phosphate mining is Florida's third largest industry -- providing more than 50,000 jobs and a glimmer of economic enhancement for poorer rural regions. Now, a clash between economy and environment comes to a head as a newly adopted state permit will allow phosphate mining to expand its operations closer to Southwest Florida.

Phosphate, this month's edition of IN FOCUS, brings both sides of the controversy to the table. Hosts Roy Brown and Amy Tardif moderate the informative panel discussion, featuring Mike Lloyd, Research Director of Chemical Processing at the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research; Bob Kinsey, Director of Operations Support for IMC Phosphates; Bill Byle, Charlotte County Natural Resources Planner; and Karen Burnett, geologist with Florida Environmental. Amy Tardif also takes a fascinating look at the phosphate mining process, featuring interviews with Bradley Jackson of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Steven Richardson of the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research and Ann Tahinsky of the U.S. Geological Survey.


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