Hernando County residents have started an online petition to help stop the Board of County Commissioners from approving a zoning change that would allow CEMEX Construction Materials Florida from turning 728 acres of natural landscape into an open pit mining operation.
The group organizing the land preservation effort, Neighbors Against Mining, claim that the area CEMEX wants rezoned on State Road 50, north of Fort Dade Avenue, will destroy “pine forest, grassland, and wetland habitat adjacent to the historic Spring Hill Cemetery.”
The petition states:
“The mining activities have the potential to damage property in the area from cracks in homes to sinkholes from the percussion of the blasts, in addition to degrading our quality of life from the perpetual noise that will be heard in downtown Brooksville for the next 20 years. This project may lower property values and reduce the kind of environmentally-sustainable growth that Brooksville desperately needs.”
According to Neighbors Against Mining, no new jobs will be created if the BOCC approves the zoning change, and the mining operation opens the area up to pollution from greenhouse gas emissions, and possible mercury contamination.
“CEMEX was cited by the EPA for mercury emissions at another site in Hernando County and its South Brooksville plant is an abandoned eyesore that has become a blighted area. This project would allow removal of a large tract of wild forest bordering a canopy road that is supposed to be protected with a heavy 20-year industrial use that would not create a single new job while generating air and noise pollution,” according to the petition.
Neighbors Against Mining is asking residents to join them at a July 14, 2014, Hernando County Planning & Zoning Meeting in the John Law Ayres Room, at 20 N. Main Street in Brooksville at 9 am.
Click here if you would like to read or sign the petition: “Deny CEMEX the permit to expand mining lime rock in Hernando near Brooksville, Fl.”