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Tallahassee lobbyists target Palm Beach County's moratorium on limestone mines [View All]

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-02-07 01:42 PM
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Tallahassee lobbyists target Palm Beach County's moratorium on limestone mines
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Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Under Florida's swamps, forests and cane fields lie crucial materials for the construction of roads, bridges, houses and shopping centers. And a fight has begun in the state Legislature over how -- and whether -- to extract them.
Hoping to tap vast underground deposits of limestone and sand, state legislators have proposed bills that would overturn Palm Beach County's moratorium on new limestone mines and set up a commission to find ways to extract more of these construction materials from other parts of the state.


Supporting the bills are Associated Industries of Florida, which is the state's main business lobby, the sugar industry and the Florida Department of Transportation. It says the state could face a construction-materials crisis if a judge shuts down the Miami-Dade County mines.


"It's another way you lose habitat," said Eric Draper, lobbyist for Audubon of Florida. "You can't regrow trees. The mining pits they leave behind aren't very environmentally friendly."

In a preliminary survey, the state Transportation Department identified a major untapped deposit of limestone on the Lake Wales Ridge, an area known for rare plants and animals, such as the Florida scrub-jay.


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