An excellent column by Dr. Bridges that deserves to be seen again, lest we forget....
By Jack Bridges / Guest Columnist
Published Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Vincent residents curious about limestone quarries as neighbors could take a tour of Central Alabama’s limestone quarries trail. Most of it is right here in Shelby County. A quick look around would answer many questions about living alongside a quarry.
Begin the tour just east of Montevallo on Alabama Highway 25. Drive west past the limestone operations.
You can’t miss the piles of spoil and the puffs of smoke from the chimneys. Head back on 25 toward Calera. Pause or drive slowly (but watch out for the rock- hauling trucks; a sight-seer could get overrun.
Check out the chimneys and the landscape, as well as the finish on the cars parked along the way.
Go on to Calera, then take U.S. 31 north toward Birmingham. You are right in the midst of the best part of the trail. All along the way you pass quarries and crusher plants and cement plants. Watch out for the tankers carrying cement and 22- wheel dump truck trailer rigs carrying various sizes of crushed stone.
One of the trail highlights comes at Saginaw. Take a quick side trip on Shelby County 26 toward Columbiana. That will take you past the new and expanded quarry of the old Longview Lime operations.
Go slow and you can see. The company has put up fencing and a big berm along the road with shrubs and trees to hide the works. Then you cross a bridge over the quarry’s sunken road for the rock haulers, and that gives a quick view to the left of the vast old hole in the ground, evidently with pumps still running, and a very informative look at the current digging operations.
Back on U.S. 31, turn toward Birmingham. In another mile or so, you’ll come to the manufacturing end of the limestone operation at the edge of the quarry. There is a good view of the kilns and furnaces for making cement, and the loading areas and the puffing smoke stacks and the lime dust on the trees and cars.
Stay on U.S. 31 for a while. Traffic gets a bit congested, but in a growing part of Alabaster, there is another quarry plant puffing out grey lime dust.
You can end your old- fashioned Sunday drive experience by retracing the route there and heading on home. But if you make the trip, you will know better what quarries are like. And you might stop along the way and ask some folks what sort of neighbors quarries make.
Dr. Jack Bridges, who lives near Shelby, spent years living near a quarry in his youth.
We spent some time going through the newspaper archives and found that in almost every instance, these quarry and lime plants bribe their way in.
One place they didn't get their way was Montevallo, but that did not stop ADEM from permitting the proposed quarry while a lawsuit was pending. They even went so far as to say' "Even if the quarry isn't operating, we won't withdraw their permits."
If the schools in this county are in such dire need, why the hell isn't Columbiana doing more to help them? Why do they insist on sentencing these kids to living with these behemoths that pollute everything nearby, especially our children?
Google maps will show you how close the schools are to these polluters.
EPA records will show what they do.
POLITICAL CORRUPTION IS A NATIONWIDE ISSUE AFFECTING ALL OF US. ALABAMA RANKS #5 AS THE MOST CORRUPT STATE. *DOJ 2007 stats
Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton
PERTINENT ENVIRONMENTAL AND CORRUPTION ISSUES IN OTHER STATES ARE ALSO DISCUSSED
NO OTHER COMMUNITY, RICH OR POOR, URBAN OR SUBURBAN,BLACK, BROWN,RED, YELLOW OR WHITE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BECOME AN "ENVIRONMENTAL SACRIFICE ZONE."
Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder
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