Imagine life in Iowa without structure. Visualize the state’s vital network of roads impassable. Consider crossing rivers and streams on bridges made only of wood or steel, buildings without a foundation of concrete. Contemplate a city skyline without the enduring form of high-rise buildings.

Taken for granted in our daily lives, these structures are only a few of the essential items created with crushed limestone. And, although it has been used for thousands of years as raw material for building, limestone is perhaps Iowa’s most forgotten natural resource.

Iowa’s quarries are operated by local residents – your neighbors. As members of your community, they care about the impact of the quarry operations, taking pride in their operation and their industry. Quarry operators strive to keep their sites neat and well maintained. Safety is a major consideration for the public and for employees. In fact, every quarry employee is required to complete eight hours of continuing education annually, with safety being a key area of emphasis.

The limestone mining industry in Iowa is very conscious of the environment. Nearly 30 years ago, members of the Iowa Limestone Producers Association recognized the need for laws regulating limestone mining. The laws now in place protect the environment and insure land reclamation.

Each facility must be registered with the state department of soil conservation by a licensed operator prior to the start of mining operations. Annual reports assure each quarry is operating within the law.