Levy County mine proposal may be postponed

Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 4:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 4:40 p.m.

Levy County could delay consideration of a massive limestone mine until 2009.

Tarmac America is proposing a limestone mine on timber land about five miles north of Inglis. The mine would cover about 4,000 acres of a more than 9,400-acre property between U.S. 19 and Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park.

In December, the Levy County planning commission tabled consideration of the application for a mining permit to provide time to collect more information. The commission was expected to again consider the project in the coming weeks.

But in a March 31 letter, Tarmac representative Jacob Varn asked the commission to delay considering the application until at least Jan. 2009.

Varn wrote that Tarmac is still pursuing permits with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"After further thought and consideration, Tarmac has determined that the additional studies and data being prepared in connection with these permit applications should be of great assistance to all parties when the County considers Tarmac's pending application for a special exception," he wrote.

Levy County Development Director Robert Corbitt said he didn't known whether the county would be able or willing to grant the request. It might be determined that Tarmac would have to withdraw its application, resubmit a new application and pay new filing fees, he said.

Company officials say the mine would boost the local economy and provide material needed to build roads in the region. But some environmental advocates and local officials question the mine's impact of groundwater quality and quantity, traffic and wetlands.

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