Periodic blasting, noise, vibration, and dust are side-effects of limestone aggregate mining. Limestone mining companies are unfortunately caught between a rock and a hard place as urban sprawl and development move ever closer towards their operations.
The limestone industry produces a precious commodity that is vital in the construction of virtually any modern structure we use today. Hospitals, homes, schools, roadways, highways, etc. are all attributable to limestone aggregate materials.
For decades, rock mines have excavated vital limestone from underneath the South Florida crust. These materials supply rock across the southeastern United States, as Florida produces more crushed stone all but four other regions.
Limestone quarrying companies, as well as Florida legislatures, take every step possible to minimize the impact of quarrying activity on surrounding communities. These include state-imposed limits on seismic readings for blasts.
Vibration and noise is a byproduct accompanying the quarry blasting procedure. However, Florida regulations on seismic activity in relation to limestone quarrying are over 70% more stringent than those imposed on a national level.
In fact, everyday occurrences that South Florida residents know all too well like construction, traffic noise, horns honking, etc. lead to more impactful results than quarry blasting performed in limestone facilities.
The limestone industry works diligently to ensure that low-frequency blasts reside within thee strictly enforced state limits by utilizing the most modern mining technology, as well as documented seismic measurements through employing the latest in seismographic devices.
This technology is implemented to verify the force of all blasts performed on site, and assure residents in the area, and their homes, remain minimally affected. The blasts performed during limestone mining represent as little as 2% of state-imposed limits.
Limestone companies also provide quarry blasting schedules to aid local residents. These schedules display vital information to inform those that reside near quarries when blasting will occur. This information assists individuals by informing and preparing them for blasting periods.
The limestone quarrying industry values our neighbors. Although limestone mining existed in the area long before urban sprawl and development moved homes closer to limestone operations, quarrying companies understand that this situation is somewhat unavoidable in a populated area like South Florida.
The limestone quarrying industry provides over 7,500 jobs and nearly $550 million in wages to South Florida workers. Many of these individuals both live and work in our Miami-Dade communities.
There is plentiful rhetoric regarding the potential for damage to homes in the immediate area near quarries. However, even those residents most sensitive to mining blasts experience as little as 2% of the regulated limits.
While 2% of the regulated limit is enough to vibrate a home, this blasting amount is little more than an annoyance as opposed to a cause of actual damage. These vibrations are less impactful than those caused by everyday activities, such as slamming a door.
State and local construction standards additionally ensure that all structures are built to code and legally permitted to withstand these legal seismic limits. Any damage is much more likely a result of poor building standards during a specific time, many of which may not have been previously discovered from exterior examination.
The limestone quarrying industry makes every effort to provide as much information as possible to their communities. The State of Florida, as well as limestone mining companies, recognize the difficulties facing cohabitation between quarries and South Florida residents.
For this reason, the limestone industry feels it’s necessary to maintain as translucent as possible, publishing blasting schedules, conducting seismic investigations, and minimizing annoyances to the community.
Quarry blasting schedules are posted through a variety of mediums: online, and through contacting the companies directly.
Limestone companies additionally take steps to minimize South Florida quarries blasting impact by ensuring blast remain within state regulations, another reason for maintaining seismology investigation and analyzation.
The limestone aggregate industry knows that living near a quarry is not ideal for many Florida residents. However, quarries also produce a necessary and vital component for our economy and construction industry.
A harmonious relationship between the aggregate industry and residents is mutually beneficial for a variety of reasons. Without limestone, we are without a highly maintained level of economic prosperity, and without the residents, we are without the need for the limestone products industry.