This page is essentially in reverse chronological order with the most recent information coming first, as a result the story lines are mixed together. You can sometimes find the stories by region on the pages by location.
Hydrochemical Impacts of Limestone Rock Mining (Water Art Soil Pollution Naja et al Aug 2010)
Interactions between Ground Water and Surface Water in the Northern Everglades and Relation to Water Budget and Mercury Cycling: Study methods and appendixes (Open-Flie Report 00-168 U.S. Department of the Interior and USGS prepared in cooperation with the SFWMD)
Rock Mining operation effects on water quality in the Everglades Aagrcultural Area (G. Melodie Naja Everglades Foundation -Science Department Jan 8, 2010)
Clean Water Fund Debunking Myths: Decisions about our water supply should be based on research and science- regarding mining plans by Palm Beach Aggregate (April, 2010)
Environmental concerns fail to stop expanded rock mining in Everglades Agricultural Area (South Florida Sun Sentinel Oct 22, 2009)
"The South Florida Water Management District executive director, Carol Wehle, raised concerns in a letter to Palm Beach County Commissioners about the Star Ranch's plans to expand its rock mine. The site in western Palm Beach County is in the agricultural area just south of Lake Okeechobee that was once part of the Everglades."
Moral Turpitude: The Cement Manufacturer and Rock Miner Hall of Shame ... by gimleteye (Sunday, August 02, 2009)
In West Dade, rock mining activities have violated federal law protecting endangered species and the Everglades. These violations of law triggered some of the most important litigation in the US, revealing the miserable performance of federal agencies like the US Army Corps of Engineers. Rock miners have not only failed to live up to their commitments for mitigating impacts on wetlands, they have stifled dissent at county commissions and with the public. In Miami-Dade, rock mining has imposed huge liabilities on drinking water supplies and costs on taxpayers. In South Dade, rock mining has sped salt water intrusion.
EPA recommends denying Lake Belt mining (Jul 23, 2009 Pit & Quarry)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends denying nine mining applications affecting 6,800 additional acres of wetlands in Miami’s Lake Belt region.
In a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in early July, EPA expresses concerns about the environmental impacts associated with the proposed limestone mining. This includes the potential to “significantly degrade aquatic resources,” EPA said in the letter. The region forms the buffer between the Everglades Ecosystem and the urban development of Miami.
According to the EPA letter, the nine applications would expand mining activities of APAC-Southeast Inc., Florida Rock Industries Inc., Kendall Properties and Investments, Rinker Materials of Florida Inc., Sawgrass Rock Quarry Inc., Tarmac America LLC, White Rock Quarries and Opa-Locka West Airport.
The latest decision in the ongoing legal battle came in January, when a judge ruled against the Corps of Engineers and the mining companies, setting aside 10 of the existing mining permits covering hundreds of acres. The industry appealed the judge’s partial mining ban, with oral arguments scheduled in October.
Lake Belt mining permits were originally issued for 5,400 acres in 2002.
Newell's Letter From Prison (July 16, 2009 Sentinel Sun Blog)
"Imprisoned former Palm Beach County commissioner Warren Newell wrote a letter to his former colleagues requesting records related to his case. Federal prosecutors argued that Newell and his firm profited from a secret “success fee” between Shalloway and Palm Beach Aggregates over the deal with the district. Newell voted to support the reservoir deal without disclosing his personal gain from the “success fee.
Engineers, Rock Mines, and Public Corruption ... (June 8 2009 by gimleteye)
The business of digging pits from limestone to provide base materials for cement and concrete is the most secretive and profitable industry in Florida. It goes by the name; rock mining, and we've written about it a lot. In Miami-Dade, the activity takes place to the west and north of Miami International Airport and in South Dade. Most people have no idea, except when flying in and out of Miami International Airport and see those symmetric, weirdly colored "lakes" and wonder: "what's that?" Rock miners have recently glommed on the notion that their activities can be made easy to sell to permitting agencies by tying the purpose of excavation (for profit) to water management and conservation purposes. It's all about "restoring the Everglades."
Miami-Dade backs FPL bid to dig rock pits near Biscayne Bay (Miami Herald May 29, 2009)
FPL is asking for a zoning change that would open agricultural land to mining in a coastal area east of Homestead Air Reserve Base. A range of critics -- including farmers, environmentalists and Biscayne National Park officials -- oppose the plan because it could increase saltwater intrusion from the bay and jeopardize both farmland and drinking water wells.
The blight of Florida Power and Light ... (by gimleteye Tuesday, May 26, 2009)
FPL's Steve Scroggs, who is in charge of permitting the two new planned nuclear reactors at Turkey Point, told the Planning Advisory Board a few weeks ago of his company's plan to rock mine 10 million cubic yards for fill; "If it doesn't work for Everglades restoration, it doesn't work." The way things are going, Everglades restoration doesn't have a chance
County Commission May 28th: Florida Power & Light Rock Mining Request. By Geniusofdespair
Letter from the National Park service regarding Environmental Resource permit for the Florida City Quarry. Quoted below:
Mining essential to construct new nuclear power plants: Hurry up with new nuclear power plants? What Florida Power and Light doesn't want you to know ... by gimleteye Monday, May 11, 2009-
"The presence of tritium, even in minute quantities, in the Biscayne aquifer is a problem for FPL: first of all, this well known marker for fluid movement in water bodies would contradict its contention that building two new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point-- and the related rock mining to elevate the reactors twenty five feet above sea level on three hundred plus acres-- will have no significant impact on either salt water intrusion or drinking water quality.
Studying the evidence and modeling salt water intrusion could have a big impact on the timing and permitting issues. It won't be so easy to explain to South Floridians why the presence of tritium is not a substantial concern."
Levy County commission says NO to mine- Levy County Journal
"Faced with fierce community opposition, Levy County planning commissioners voted 5-0 Monday night to recommend denial of permit that would allow operation of a 68.8 acre limestone mine in a horse farming area south of Williston. Residents said they were concerned about the effects of blasting limestone on their homes, barns and domestic animals, the potential contamination of their drinking water supplies and the degradation of their quality of life in the quiet farming community."
Environmentalists and national park managers plan to fight FPL's push for rock mining approval at a county hearing, saying Turkey Point plans will put supplies of fresh water at risk.
Florida: Activists Stand-Off with Law Enforcement at Barley Barber Swamp (January 6th Info shop News) regarding blocked access by FPL to oldest Bald Cypress trees in state near Martin County Fossil Fuel Power Plant- the largest in the U.S. Activist claim trees may be dying due to water drawdown. "Photos and video from the swamp are available upon request. On-the-field interviews are available by phone or on site. Call for directions and assistance to reach the vigil site. ...Please call 561.308.9452"
Mining firm denies U.S. Sugar lease is void (Palm Beach Post By PAUL QUINLAN January 05, 2009) "U.S. Sugar now says Florida Rock missed a key deadline, nullifying the mining agreement. But Florida Rock has filed suit to keep it alive."
"Given the known links between sulfate loading and Methyl Mercury (MeHg) production, it is reasonable to conclude that sulfate added from the release of recovered ASR water could contribute to additional MeHg formation in receiving waters of the Everglades"
above quote excerpted from this USGS "An Assessment of Potential Effects of Aquifer Storage and Recovery on Mercury Cycling in South Florida. (In cooperation with the USACOE Jacksonville) Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5240"
Fortune and Flame Why the Everglades is burning, and how we sucked it dry21 May 2008 (in Grist; Environmental News and Commentary
Palm Beach County citizens trying to protect resources- a loss and opportunity (April, 2008)
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This resource focuses on adverse impacts from mining currently not addressed or evaluated by regulatory agencies and municipalities, as well as alternatives to mining and approaches for improved monitoring and evaluation of existing and proposed mine sites and mine-related impacts. This portal is made possible thanks to the volunteer efforts of scientists, other professionals and citizens.