"Quandry Over Quarry"

"BATTLETOWN, Ky. -- A limestone 'quarry alley' 45 miles west of downtown Louisville resembles the scarred landscapes of eastern Kentucky, flattened by blasting for coal.

As in eastern Kentucky, the earth has been blown apart to reveal the valuable rock underneath -- ironically, to help clean dirty power plants fueled by coal. Limestone, it turns out, is the key ingredient for stripping sulfur dioxide from smokestacks, helping to reduce acid rain and asthma-inducing haze.

Yet despite that virtue, 'I cannot help but make parallels in my mind with eastern Kentucky, with mountaintop removal and strip mines,' said David Bell, a Meade County resident who opposes a new limestone quarry planned for this corner of the state, defined equally by its limestone deposits as the verdant bluffs and Ohio River bottomlands of a peninsula known as Big Bend."

James Bruggers reports for the Louisville Courier-Journal August 17, 2009.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009