Gov. Rick Scott today appointedĀ Michael A. Daigle, director of operations planning at Mosaic Fertilizer, to the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute. The appointment marks the latest in a stream of government interaction with the company ā€” MosaicĀ gave at least $15,000 to Scottā€™s gubernatorial campaign, and a former Jeb Bush staffer recently went to work for the company.

A phosphate mine in South Fort Meade, owned by Mosaic, was shut down in July due to potentially detrimental environmental impacts. Although the company was initially given the go-ahead from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strip-mine thousands of acres of Florida wetlands, a lawsuit (brought by environmental groups including the Sierra Club) led a judge toĀ halt productionĀ at a 700-acre tract of the mine, over fears that the mining activities were damaging two area watersheds.

In July, a U.S. judge extended that injunction ā€” effectively banning the company from expanding production at the mine.

According to its website, the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research was originally created in 1978 as ā€œa state agency to study phosphate issues that impact Floridaā€™s citizens, environment and economy and to be a phosphate information resource.ā€

Daigleā€™s term begins today and ends Sept. 30, 2014.

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