In the early afternoon on Tuesday, August 31, many Village residents and businesses felt a significant tremor sensation. At the time, it was suspected to be a discharge from a mining blast at one of the area quarries. Contacts were made to both Hanson Material Service and Vulcan.
A representative for Vulcan advised us that they were not blasting at the time. Moreover, their efforts have been focused on mining work for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Deep Tunnel and Reservoir Project (TARP) on the south side of I-55.
Hanson Material Service acknowledged that a blast event did occur at approximately the same time as reports were received that a tremor was felt. The Village received a follow-up call from Hanson Material Service last week who offered further details as follows:
1. The detonation occurred on the southern most end of the McCook quarry (about one-quarter of a mile south of Plainfield Road) and on a ridge closer to grade rather than at the bottom of the quarry.
2. The amount of the discharge was consistent with what is used for mining operations at this quarry and in compliance with its permit and regulatory limits.
3. Given the nature and number of concerns expressed by area residents and municipalities, such as La Grange, Hanson Material Service has taken the initiative to: (a) temporarily avoid further blasting in that location until additional research is completed, and (b) hire a consultant to assist them in evaluating the incident.
Hanson Material Service has also advised us that they have reached out to governmental agencies including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, United States Geological Survey, and Illinois State Geological Survey to identify and better understand the specific nature of the event(s) that took place on August 31.
Both quarries understand that the Village’s interest in the matter is that a blast of the magnitude experienced on August 31 is not repeated.
The Village will monitor the progress and outcome of Hanson Material Service’s investigation, both individually, and as a charter member of the Lyons Township Quarry Council. The Village will also advise and consult with its Environmental Quality Control Commission, whose members have expertise in environmental matters.
Residents are encouraged to report concerns involving mining operations, such as noise, dust, blasting complaints and gravel truck traffic to the Quarry Council hot line at 1-866-934-3278 (1-866-WE-HEAR-U). Complaints are to be acted on quickly by the respective quarry, and their disposition is then reviewed on a quarterly basis.
For more information, please contact the Village Manager’s office at 708-579-2313.