MIAMI NEW TIMES
Thursday, Jan 3 2008
By Francisco Alavarado and Janine Zeitlin and Tamara Lush
Get ready for some major, and maybe environmentally lethal, limestone excavation near the Everglades. To the dismay of homeowner and eco-activists, five rock mining companies have filed for permits with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to extract limestone from more than 7,500 acres of protected wetlands. "It's like the return of Jason and Freddie Krueger" says Miami Lakes Councilman Michael Pizzi, a longtime opponent of the rock mining industry. "I find it terrifying."
The companies seeking permission to dig are Florida Rock Industries, Kendall Properties and Investments, Tarmac America,, Rinker Materials of Florida, and White Rock Quarries, all of which promise to pay the state to create wetlands elsewhere in the county to replace the land lost to mining.
The permit requests come at a time when the U S Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public input for its study on the impact of rock mining on Miami-Dade's drinking water. If the rock miners' plans are approved by state regulators, they would carve out lake craters totaling nearly 12 square miles, almost the size of Coral Gables.
Earlier this summer, Miami-based U S Judge William Hoeveler ruled in favor of three environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, which had sued the Corps, the Miami-Dade Limestone Association, and seven companies to halt excavation on 5,400 acres of wetlands. Hoeveler found the proposed mining to be a threat to the drinking water supply for one million Miami-Dade residents and that it would destroy thousands of acres of irreplaceable Everglades wildlife habitat.
Kerri Barsch, a spokeswoman for White Rock and Tarmac, disputes Pizzi's assertion that more rock mining would have a disastrous impact on the community. She also says there is no guarantee the environmental protection department would approve every new permit. "The regulatory agencies will evaluate all the information and make the determination to what extent more mining is in the public interest."
"We haven't even begun to study the impact of rock mining on our water supply," says Pizzi.
"The rock miners are undaunted in their pursuit of making money." — Francisco Alavarado
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Now that is a ringing endorsement of "good neighbors": "It's like the return of Jason and Freddy Krueger."
Kind of reminds us of another terrible twosome involved in the Vincent Hills project....
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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