Fill the Room!  Stop the New CEMEX Mine in Brooksville! 

Be There, Speak Out on Tuesday, December 12th

The Hernando County Board of Commissioners will vote whether to approve the draft 2040 Land Use Plan for transmittal to the state for review on Tuesday, December 12th at 9am at the Courthouse, Commission Chambers, 20 North Main Street in Brooksville.   The new land use plan includes a provision to fast track land use amendments to allow mining where it is not currently zoned for it, despite the efforts of many citizens asking them to instead ban all new permits for mining.  This is our last chance add a ban on new mines in the new land use plan that will guide development until 2040.


If you cannot attend the hearing and even if you do plan to be there, contact the commissioners by email NOW to tell them you want a ban  on new mines in the new land use plan. Email addresses are:

*Chair Wayne Dukes:    WDukes@hernandocounty.us,

*Commissioner Nick Nicholson:   NNicholson@hernandocounty.us,

*Commissioner Jeff Holcomb:   JHolcomb@co.hernando.fl.us,

*Commissioner John Allocco:   JAllocco@co.hernando.fl.us, and

*Commissioner Steve Champion:   SChampion@co.hernando.fl.us

Copy *planning@hernandocounty.us

They’re  back!  CEMEX has just filed an application to amend the land use plan to mine on 573 acres of land across from Bayfront Hospital on Cortez Boulevard leading into Brooksville.  This is the same old plan that was tried a few years ago and withdrawn when they didn’t have the vote.  The problem now is they have the vote.  But if enough of us show up and speak out against new mines, they may listen.  There are many good reason we don’t want any more mines.

  • Mining for limerock threatens public health—the lime rock dust releases asbestos and increases the likelihood of asthma which are at high levels in this county for both adults and children. The new CEMEX mine would jeopardize operations at Bayfront Hospital located just across the street.
  • There is no demand for lime rock locally. CEMEX has five other mines in Hernando with reserves to mine for many more years locally.  Most lime rock is provided by mines in South Florida and Pasco County,
  • The blasting, noise, velocity and heavy truck traffic destroys quality of life for local residents, reduces property values and threatens the health of hundreds of nearby residents.
  • The new CEMEX mine would border and damage the African American Spring Hill Cemetery on this parcel.
  • The mine would damage the Fort Dade Avenue canopy road by building a conveyor belt over it to deliver lime rock to the CEMEX mine further north where it will be trucked out or used at the CEMEX coal-burning cement plant that has been cited for numerous violations and required to pay stiff fines.
  • Mining would undermine the growing business corridor into Brooksville on Highway 50.
  • This new mine will not create one new job—CEMEX will use existing employees from current mines.
  • Mining will negate current efforts to grow our nature tourism economy, which already brings in ten times more income than mining in this county. People don’t come to visit an open pit mine.
  • Mining at this location threatens Peck Sink—a valuable water resource across the street that the county has spent millions of dollars to create to protect drinking water supplies and contaminate local drinking water wells.
  • Most of all, mining undermines efforts to build a sustainable clean economy for Hernando County, contributing to global climate change and the effects it brings including more and stronger weather patterns, storms and dangerous fires, more frequent and more extensive flooding, and increased temperatures that bring invasive plants, animals and diseases.

For more information, visit us on Facebook at Neighbors Against Mining in Hernando County, call 352 277-3330 or email justsaynotomining@gmail.com.   To learn what time this will be discussed during the meeting that begins at 9am, go to Agenda for Dec. 12 at http://hernandocountyfl.iqm2.com/citizens/


Below is the email that DeeVon Quirolo sent to each of the county commissioners.  Please  send out your email today to them and plan to be at the meeting Tuesday Dec. 12 at 9am at the Brooksville Courthouse Commission Chambers.  Ask then to ban new mines in the 2040 land use plan. 

Email addresses are:

*Chair Wayne Dukes:    WDukes@hernandocounty.us

*Commissioner Nick Nicholson:   NNicholson@hernandocounty.us

*Commissioner Jeff Holcomb:   JHolcomb@co.hernando.fl.us

*Commissioner John Allocco:   JAllocco@co.hernando.fl.us, and

*Commissioner Steve Champion:   SChampion@co.hernando.fl.us

*Copy  planning@hernandocounty.us.  In the subject line, enter Ban New Mines in 2040 Land Use Plan . In the body of the email, enter Dear Commissioners:  Ban New MINES in the 2040 Land Use Plan followed by your name and address and any other comments you want to make.  Encourage others to do the same!

Dear Commissioner:
Thanks for meeting with us to present our concerns that the 2040 land use plan has been gutted of many valuable policies and strategies that would have insured economic and environmental health for Hernando County.  Attached are our earlier comments detailing them for you.
At this point, with approval of the plan approaching, most of all we ask you to seriously consider supporting a ban on new mines in the land use plan.    Previously approved permits in Hernando County provide enough acreage to insure that mining can continue for the next 100 years without permitting any new mine sites. Most importantly, no need has been established for additional mining and some existing mining sites are inactive, based on mining reports submitted to the county in 2016.
We continue to be affected by the blasting, heavy industrial traffic, property value declines, quality of life impacts, and decline in water quality in local wells that mining delivers to many Hernando residents every day.  Not to mention the health and environmental consequences of industrial open pit mining that releases silica dust into the environment, that contains asbestos, a know carcinogen, and displaces threatened and endangered plant and animal species.

We therefore respectfully recommend the county land use plan remove any reference or language that would allow the establishment of new mines in areas outside of existing mining permits and that there be no provision in the land use plan that would allow amendment of the land use plan to allow mining to occur in any area not zoned for it as of January 1, 2017.  Further, that the future land use map remove any new areas in the mining zoning category that were not permitted for mining as of January 1, 2017.     

This is entirely within your power.   Mining is arguably more dangerous than either RV’s or strip malls to the health and prosperity of Hernando Citizens and is not an economic factor,  other than to diminish the growing success of our nature tourism economy.  Chapter One of the draft plan currently includes a ban on mobile homes in the Coastal Zone and a ban on more strip malls as follows:

Chapter One Future Land Use Development

Strategy 1.04B(9): New zoning for mobile homes shall not be permitted in the Coastal Zone as defined in the Coastal Management Element of this Plan.

Strategy 1.04G(7): Expansion of the existing mapped pattern of strip commercial is not  desirable, and the creation of new strip commercial areas in the County is not allowed. 

Thank you for your consideration and Happy Holidays!   

All the best,  DeeVon 




Commissioners urge a ‘flexible’ growth plan that would cost us all


Be there!

We need your help to stop the 7 Diamonds Mine in Pasco County that would imperil our Weeki Wachee Springshed.

The Pasco County Commission meets to vote on the 7 Diamonds Mine Application on Tuesday, November 28th at  1:30 PM at the Pasco County Government Center, 8731 Citizens Drive in New Port Richey, FL 34654.
The new mine borders the Jumping Gully Preserve and Cross-Bar Starkey wildlife corridor, and is a mile from Crews Lake Wilderness Park in an area that already floods adjacent residential areas.  Deep mining would imperil water quality and wildlife and produce more flooding and threaten the Weeki Wachee Springshed  with mining contaminants.
Bob Howell reports that we lost at the Planning and Zoning and the Development Review Committee Meetings on this and now there is just one more chance to stop the new mine that will threaten the Weeki Wachee Springshed.
WE NEED to fill the room–your attendance at the meeting this Tuesday is requested. Only with strong citizen support will we stand a chance to convince the BOCC that this is wrong and that they should deny it.
You can speak out with the simple message that you don’t want the 7 Diamonds Mine approved but mostly, we just need you to be present, even if you don’t speak!   Please wear white – we are the good guys!  Thanks for your help on this.


Yet another community speaks out with concerns over a new mining proposal.  Mine could have largest potential impact on Santa Fe River


Update:  we won the first round in 2016, but the Hernando County Commission reversed course and eliminated the super majority rule on May 9th,  2017.   11 citizens spoke out against it while members of the Board of Realtors, Hernando Progress, and two citizens spoke out in favor of the  change.
Editorial by Dan DeWitt / May 19, 2016
Action Needed Now: 

Let the Hernando County Commissioners know you oppose changing the rules for comprehensive land use plan changes.  Don’t replace the super-majority rule with a simple majority vote.  This could facilitate approval of a new CEMEX mine.

What’s the problem?

Last spring, we celebrated the defeat of a proposal to allow a new CEMEX open pit lime rock mine on Cortez Boulevard at the entrance to Brooksville.  The “super-majority rule” currently in place for Hernando County comprehensive land use plan amendments requires that four of five commissioners approve any proposed changes.

This rule applied to the plan change sought that would have allowed the new CEMEX mine.   When Commissioners Jim Adkins and Diane Rowden announced their NO vote, the miners withdrew their petition, since they lacked the super-majority vote needed for approval.  That was a victory for our community and protected our environment, economy and quality of life.

Well, some commissioners are now trying to change that rule to a simple majority vote.  Commissioner and Naval Reserve Officer Jeff Holcomb has announced that he is being deployed to serve in Southwest Asia for the next 6–12 months, leaving a 4-member voting county commission.  By law, he cannot be replaced and his position will remain his, even while he is unavailable to vote.

So while Holcomb is away, no super-majority vote of 4 of 5 commissioners is possible, including for a new CEMEX application, if it were re-filed.  However, if the rule is changed to require a simply majority, three of the sitting commissioners could vote in a land use plan amendment to allow a new CEMEX mine near Brooksville, as well as any other ill-advised project that does not conform to our existing land use plan.

What You Can Do Now:
*  Plan to attend the Hernando County Commission meeting this coming Tuesday, May 10th at 9 a.m. at the Brooksville Courthouse.   Sign up to speak on this item when it comes up for discussion.   We expect it to be pulled from the consent agenda and added to the regular agenda so that the public can be heard on it.

Let’s stop this trainwreck now.  Express your opposition to beginning the process to change this rule. Our comprehensive land use plan was created, planned, and vetted through a public process that ensures we are making wise land use decisions for Hernando and its residents into the future. The plan is not intended to be overturned easily due to the influence of special interests.  Amendments can only be made with great thought, demonstrated need and consensus as expressed by a super majority vote of the sitting commissioners.   There is no need to change that now.
Please thank Commissioners Diane Rowden and James Atkins for their earlier decision to stop the new CEMEX mine and express how much their continuing support means to our community, environment, and quality of life.
Please ask Commissioners Wayne Dukes, Nick Nicholson and Jeff Holcomb to reconsider this effort to thwart the will of the public and undermine the integrity of the current land use plan.
This is a transparent effort to pave the way for a new CEMEX mine application that would threaten our health, economy and ecology by once again considering a land use plan amendment to allow open pit mining in an inappropriate location close to our hospital, the Historic Spring Hill African American Cemetery,  200 plus residents of the area and businesses along the Highway 50 corridor at a time when there is no demand for lime rock. And it would open the door to other flawed decisions.
Citizens deserve to be represented by commissioners who listen to them.  Our message is clear:  NO NEW MINING NEAR BROOKSVILLE!  Don’t change our land use plan.
*  If you cannot attend, please contact the commissioners by email.
James Adkins, Chair
jadkins@hernandocounty.usDISTRICT 3
Diane Rowden, Vice Chair
drowden@hernandocounty.usDISTRICT 1
Nick Nicholson, Second Chair
nnicholson@hernandocounty.usDISTRICT 2
Wayne Dukes
wdukes@hernandocounty.usDISTRICT 4
Jeff Holcomb
jholcomb@hernandocounty.usCounty Administrator
Len Sossamon
*  Or write to the commissioners, c/o Hernando County Board of County Commissioners, 20 North Main St., Brooksville, FL 34601.

Learn More:
For more information,  check out our website at http://www.neighborsagainstmining.org.  Read the Tampa Bay Times article of May 6, 2016 at: Commissioner wants to revisit super-majority requirement for comprehensive plan changes.


The agenda for the Tuesday, March 8th, 2016,  Hernando County Commission includes “An update regarding  Seven Diamonds, LLC, Proposed Mining Project Located in Pasco County”  by Environmental Services Director Susan Goebel-Canning.  See below the letter to Pasco County that Susan and the planning department will present to the county commission for approval.  It  expresses Hernando BOCC’s concern over the proposed new mine in Pasco, a mine that is located in an area within the Weeki Wachee Springshed, a shared resource for Hernando and Pasco Counties.
We requested this action from the county and have been working to get to this stage and hope the commission approves it.  Please try to attend the meeting or if you cannot, please call or email the county commissioners to express your concerns and encourage them to approve the letter.  The meeting begins at 9am and although this item is scheduled for after lunch at 1 pm, it may well be moved up in the agenda.  Citizen comment is scheduled for 11 am.  That is when we can speak up because since it is a staff report, there will be no public comment as it is now set up.   If it gets moved up on the agenda, the chair could allow public comment on it, but not as it now stands, which is why we need to be there when the meeting begins and the agenda is shuffled around.
Here are the last contacts I have for the commissioners:
CommissionerWayne Dukes  352 263-8353    wdukes@hernandocounty.us
Commissioner Nick Nicholson  352 353-5240  nnicholson@hernandocounty.us
Commissioner Jeff Holcomb  352 688-9731  jholcomb@hernandocounty.us
Chairman James Atkins  352 754-4002   jadkins@hernandocounty.us
Commissioner Diane Rowden  352 573-4178  drowden@hernandocounty.us
This is really great news!  We just hope the commission approves it.   Commissioner Diane Rowden brought this up for us at an earlier meeting and has been supportive and Chairman Adkins may be as well,  but the jury is out with the other commissioners.  So we need to show up and speak out to encourage them to take ownership of our shared responsibility to protect the Weeki Wachee Springshed—a valuable fresh water drinking source— which this mine would jeopardize.  For more info on this issue, check out our earlier action alert with speaking points.
So please, take a minute right now to make your calls, send your emails,  and plan to show up on Tuesday, March 8th at the Hernando County Courthouse in Brooksville at 9 am.   Questions?  Email us at justsaynotomining@gmail.com.


January 23, 2016



January 23, 2016


Orlando Weekly article




Context Florida: Environmentally Unfriendly Florida Moves Fracking Regulation Bill Forward by Dr. Marc J. Yacht

January 18, 2016

The assault on Florida’s environment continues as a Senate committee passed a bill that will make it easier for companies to use fracking technology to drill for oil and gas in the state.   Lest we forget, the Scott administration has ordered the word “climate change” scrubbed from official speeches and releases. The Governor has politicized […]

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Meeting Tuesday, Jan. 19th on New Mine Proposed in Weeki Wachee Springshed

January 9, 2016

A new threat to a neighborhood located 4 miles south of the intersection of County Line Road and U.S. 41 in Spring Hill has emerged from limestone mining interests. What: 7 Diamonds LLC submitted an application to Pasco County and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL-DEP) to mine for sand and limerock on 294 […]

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Tampa Bay Times 2015 in Review: Lacking votes on the County Commission, CEMEX withdraws plan for mining expansion

January 1, 2016

Lacking Votes, CEMEX withdraws plan for mining expansion

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FL-DEP issues final permit for CEMEX Brooksville South Cement Plant

November 7, 2015

The new permit for the CEMEX Cement Plant near Brooksville was issued with an effective date of November 2, 2015.  The renewal application is due by September 21, 2017,  and the permit expires on May 3, 2018. Click here to read the full text:  0530021-054-AV_Permit (Final)_signed A comparison of this final permit with the text of the […]

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FL-DEP Open House on CEMEX air permit; We came, we spoke, we listened

September 25, 2015

About thirty people,  including County Commissioner Diane Rowden,  made the drive to The Lake House for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection open house on the Proposed Permit for the  CEMEX Brooksville South Cement Plant.  Many people questioned why there was not a meeting format where we could hear a presentation explaining the permit to us as a […]

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Robert Howell letter to FL-DEP

September 23, 2015

Robert Howell’s comments

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Neighbors Against Mining: Additional comments to be submitted Sept. 24th

September 22, 2015

Additional CEMEX comments

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Cindy Dietrich letter to FL-DEP

September 21, 2015

Robert and Cynthia Dietrich

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Tampa Bay Times: Open house will give opponents of CEMEX permit renewal a chance to air concerns by Barbara Behrendt

September 20, 2015


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Ellen Paul comment to FL-DEP

September 15, 2015

Ellen Paul letter to FL-DEP

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Melinda Barrable letter to FL-DEP

September 15, 2015

Comments of Melinda Barrable

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Dr. Mark Yacht letter to FL-DEP

September 15, 2015

Dr. Marc Yacht

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FL DEP Open House Sept. 24

September 4, 2015

Notice of Hearing

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Join us online for tonite’s FL-DEP open house on CEMEX South Brooksville Cement Plant permit

August 14, 2015

The Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection has set the date of Thursday September 24th from 5 pm—7 pm at The Lake House, 1202 Kenlake Avenue in Spring Hill Be there!  Speak to the permitting staff! Submit written comments at this open house on the Proposed Permit for the CEMEX Brooksville South Coal Burning Cement Plant If you cannot attend […]

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Victor Oexmann letter to FL DEP

August 10, 2015

August, 2015 Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Air Resource Management, Office of Permitting and Compliance 2600 Blair Stone Road, MS#5505 Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400   Dear Sirs: I am a resident of Brooksville in Hernando County, along with 7,100 other residents of our county seat who live near the CEMEX Brooksville South Cement Plant.   […]

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Dianne Goode letter to FL DEP

August 8, 2015

to david.read Sirs:CEMEX has shown itself to be an indifferent and mendacious member of the community of businesses and residents who call Hernando County home.  It merits close regulation and oversight, because its past policies have shown that it does and will violate air and noise standards with impunity. There is no reason to extend […]

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Jennifer Sullivan, Hernando Green Party letter to FL DEP

August 7, 2015

Mr. David Read Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division Air Resource Management Office of Permitting It’s one thing to have been on the side of what appeared to be progress. Many people chose to believe the propaganda about dirty energy, such as coal and oil, being completely harmless. They had that “reasonable doubt”. However, when the deception of […]

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Neighbors Against Mining Letter to FL DEP

August 7, 2015

CEMEX Comments Nature Coast Conservation, Inc. Neighbors Against Mining Project 222 East Liberty Street Brooksville, Florida 34601   August 7, 2015   David Read, Environmental Administrator Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Air Resource Management, Office of Permitting and Compliance 2600 Blair Stone Road, MS #5505 Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400   Via mal to address […]

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Lisa Bambauer letter to FL DEP

August 6, 2015

David; I believe that the subject permit should be denied. Adding more pollutants to the air is never a good idea. In Hernando County, it is an especially bad idea. The county earns a substantial portion of it’s revenue through visitors to our area. We are known for being the “Nature Coast” of Florida. This […]

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Mary Ellen Urban letter to FL DEP

August 5, 2015

Mrs. Mary Ellen Urban 8205 Fort Dade Avenue Brooksville, FL 34601   August 3, 2015   Mr. David Read Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Division of Air Resource Management Office of Permitting and Compliance MS #5505 2600 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400   Dear Mr. Read: RE: Draft/Proposal Permit #0530021-054-AV CEMEX Construction Material Florida, […]

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