Will County committee to discuss concrete recycling proposal
By Hank Beckman For The Sun January 5, 2013 8:30PM
Updated: February 7, 2013 6:47AM
Citing possible environmental damage and health hazards from asbestos, a group of south Naperville homeowners associations is petitioning the Will County Board to reject a Boughton Materials Inc. application to begin concrete recycling at its 22750 W. Hassert Blvd. (111th Street) facility near Naperville.
But company representatives maintain the proposed operation would be safe and won’t be dealing with any materials containing asbestos.
The Will County Coalition for Responsible Industrial Activities sent a letter to the Will County Board listing the names of the presidents of 14 homeowners associations and urges the board to deny BMI’s petition to rezone 20 acres at its site from agricultural to industrial and its request for a special use permit to allow the recycling operation.
Among the homeowners associations taking the stand are River Run, Tallgrass, Ashbury, Clow Creek and High Meadows in Naperville.
“The proposed rezoning and special use permit, if granted, would not only be contrary to Will County Zoning Ordinance, it would be extremely detrimental to the health and safety of our residents because of the release of hazardous materials, additional air, noise, and water pollution,” reads the letter in part.
It goes on to say that the operation “and unsightly stockpiles of recycled material” would be in close proximity to neighborhood schools, public parks and churches, as well as the DuPage River.
The group says there are 5,060 residences within two miles of the quarry that would be impacted by the plan.
The Will County Planning and Zoning Commission voted down BMI’s request for a zoning change and the special use permit.
The failure before the comission doesn’t kill the project, and BMI will go before the Will County Land Use Committee Tuesday to plead its case and work to nudge it toward a hearing by the full Will County Board.
Minutes of the Oct. 16 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting show that the Village of Plainfield, the Plainfield Fire Department and the Will County Highway Department presented letters with no objections to the project.
But the same minutes show the Village of Bolingbrook opposed the project and the Will South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District expressed concern over possible groundwater contamination and suggested a barrier to minimize the risk.
Wheatland Township was on record as stating no opposition to the project, but township officials are rethinking their position.
“We weren’t really given enough of the information,” Township Supervisor Todd Morse said Friday. “It’s under reconsideration.”
Morse said that Wheatland Township trustees not only had environmental concerns, but also were concerned about what may come down the road if the rezoning is allowed.
“What will it do to that property in the future,” he asked.
Morse said the Wheatland Township Board would take up the issue at its Jan. 10 meeting and possibly vote on a new position.
BMI Attorney Scott Pointner provided a letter to the Sun citing several experts, both public and private, that indicated the asbestos issue was not one for residents to be concerned about.
Included were letters from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Pointner spoke in a telephone interview and stressed that the use of asbestos might have been common in building walls and insulation, but wasn’t used in concrete for roadways, which is the source from which the recycling operation would draw.
“This use is on a site where we’ve already done mining and crushing rock on site,” he said of the quarry currently in operation.
Pointner stressed that the company had already tried to ease residents’ fears by agreeing to a list of conditions “four to five pages long,” among them a promise to not take any concrete from sources which were know to contain asbestos.
He said that should the company’s petition be denied, the company believes it could, due to rulings in a previous lawsuit, legally begin operations for “clean construction and demolition debris” recycling at the site.
“It would be much more intense than concrete recycling,” Pointner said.
of recycling those materials.
The Will County Land Use Committee will consider the case at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Will County Office Building, Second Dloor, Will County Board Committee Room, 302 N. Chicago St., Joliet.