It is my understanding that CEMEX is seeking a state permit to extend the air pollution permit for the Brooksville South Cement Plant. This long-outdated coal burning plant has been cited almost 20 times since 2001 for mercury emissions that exceeded air quality standards, and is considered a major source of air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.
As someone who has family members living in the Brooksville area, I want to register my outrage at the continued use of this plant, and my opposition to any permit to continue “business as usual.” Rather, I strongly believe that:
1 It is time to retire this obsolete coal-burning plant now! Coal plants are the nation’s top source of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, and pollute the air with nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, mercury emissions and other harmful pollutants. The plant is located near the county seat of Brooksville, with over 7,100 residents. This plant is a direct threat to these residents and to the environment of Hernando County.
2 It is dangerous and threatens our public health and our environment. Closing the plant will help reduce Hernando’s high asthma rates and the serious health risks from mercury and other air pollutants that we have been exposed to over and over again as recently as 2013, as well as the heavy vehicular traffic from cement trucks.
3 I do not believe that CEMEX can be trusted. They have misled county commissioners and the public, misrepresented lime rock mine blasting reports, and failed to report emissions and blasting violations, as required by law.
4 The citizens of this county want a clean, prosperous future. CEMEX’s declining economic impact is less than one-third that of tourism that generates sustainable growth and protects our environment.
5 Finally, Hernando County’s public wants a public hearing so we can learn how we will be protected from additional mercury and other aerial pollutants. This permit would allow up to 200 pounds per year of mercury emissions by law and potentially much more if past performance is any indicator.
Robert B. Keim
P.O. Box 1327
Bushnell, FL 33513