From: Marc Yacht, MD, MPH (signed)
Hudson, Florida 34667
Honorable Chairman and fellow commissioners:
It is unfortunate when citizen challenged issues come before the board that too often elected officials minimize raised concerns. Corporate mining expansion falls into that category.
Both Hernando County and Pasco County have grown significantly in the last 20 years. The rural flavor has given way to denser populations, housing, hospitals and small businesses. This changing landscape also impacts large land area use requests. Certainly, Hernando County in 1980 could honor such requests with little impact on residents and the environment. However, it is now 2014 and the Hernando population is 175,000 people many residing on the Highway 50 corridor.
Recent statistics tag Hernando County as one of Florida’s least healthy areas. I cannot imagine responsible commissioners would accept such a label without addressing healthier development for the County.
Cemex hopes to expand its mining operations another 730 acres. They do not have a satisfactory record of cleanup after exhausting their mining efforts. Other issues concern noise and the impact on a nearby hospital and residents. I understand this is a predicted 20 year project. Also, airborne pollutants may add risk especially to those with pulmonary conditions.
It can be anticipated that your population will double in the next twenty years as has almost been the case in the last twenty. This creates even greater concern for the impact of such mining operations.
I personally recommend denying the expansion for Cemex. Hernando will be a healthier place for this decision.
Marc J. Yacht, MD, MPH
Volunteer, CARES senior Clinic
Volunteer, Good Samaritan Clinic
Retired Director, Pasco County Health Department (2007)
Former Editor in Chief, Florida Medical Association Magazine
Former President, Florida Association of County Health Officials
Former President, Florida Public Health Association
Former President, Public Health Specialty Group, Florida Medical Association
Former President, Pasco County Medical Society
Former Senior Editor, Florida Journal of Public Health (Print edition)