Millie Smith letter to FL DEP

August 5, 2015

Good morning, Mr. Read.

My father lives in Brooksville and he is a 100% service connected disabled veteran.  He lives just off of Fort Dade and Cortez Blvd and has lived there since 1992.   CEMEX  states on their website “Act with Integrity” –“We act with honesty and transparency in all our interactions because we care for our people, for our communities and for our natural resources.” (REALLY???)  I have researched  the affects that this “mining” could have on the families  living in this area.  This will surely affect the property value of my dad’s home and land but more importantly, it will DEFINITELY affect my dad’s heath.

As I stated, my dad is a 100 % service connected disabled veteran with chronic breathing problems.  He uses oxygen and a scooter as he suffers from shortness of breath on a regular basis.  In doing my research this morning on the materials, silica dust can impede breathing and cause respiratory irritation, cough, airway obstruction and poor lung function.  Silica related lung disease is incurable and can be fatal.  People come in contact with the silica dust when the silica dust blows off of the mine sites and off of the backs of the trucks. People who are exposed to silica dust can be at risk for silicosis even if the dust is not visible to the eye.  IF the dust is visible, the risk is almost definite.  I also read that Crystalline forms of silica are known human carcinogens.

Just a few months ago, I went before the commissioners along with other residents because CEMEX was wanting to expand their operations.   Thankfully, Commissioners Adkins and Rowden voted no. So, now, CEMEX is requesting that their permit be extended.  This outdated coal burning plant has been cited 19 times since 2001 for mercury emissions that exceeded air quality standards and is considered a major source of air pollution under current state and federal laws.  How long is CEMEX going to get away with this?  As long as people in high places turn the other cheek and just allow CEMEX to pay the fines?  Do the residents of Brooksville not matter?

The life of my father and the lives of nearby residents have been diminished by the current mining operations.  The residents have endured: noise and blasting, dust, lights, vibration waves and tremors that cause damage to homes, air pollution from silica dust that threatens their health, environmental impacts, habitat loss, changes in the community character and unsightly landscapes that have reduced their quality of life and been destructive to the character and integrity of the existing residential environment. All of these impacts can be expected to worsen and increase if CEMEX is permitted to continue polluting the air.



Millie Smith

18452 Shady Side Dr

Brooksville, Fl.

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