Limestone aggregate is a precious natural resource that’s so basic to our daily lives it’s often overlooked. Crushed limestone is an essential ingredient in concrete, asphalt and cement – the products we take for granted to build our homes, schools, hospitals, offices and the roads we travel daily.
Florida’s highest quality limestone aggregate comes directly from western Miami-Dade County. The Sunshine State uses over 139 million tons of aggregate, with 60 million of those tons produced in Miami-Dade. Locally, our industry supports over 10,000 jobs and puts $544 million in the pockets of South Florida’s workers and businesses. We also support local schools and first responders while reducing the tax burden on residents, contributing around $60 million in local sales and property taxes.
Florida boasts the lowest construction costs in the country partly because our limestone is among the most cost-effective in the nation. If the limestone products industry were located elsewhere, basic building materials would cost the people of Miami-Dade County an additional $800 million, and the state of Florida an additional $1.5 billion.
During the extraction process, we use the most advanced technology available and conduct thorough monitoring with highly sophisticated seismic instruments. In fact, Miami-Dade County’s blasting limits are 62 percent tougher than the guidelines established by the U. S. Bureau of Mines—and we continue to operate well within those tough local limits.
When it comes to protecting the environment, we’re proud to be part of the solution. With concerns about protecting the Everglades from urban sprawl continuing to grow, regulators and environmentalists have recognized limestone mining as a natural buffer. Moreover, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District’s Everglades Restoration Plan includes Miami-Dade limestone quarries as a vital water storage area.
The limestone products industry is essential to the local economy, indispensable to Florida’s infrastructure, and important to protecting Florida’s environment.