Wheatland delays discussion of concrete recycling issue
By Hank Beckman For The Sun January 12, 2013 4:00PM
Updated: February 14, 2013 6:55AM
The Wheatland Township Board of Trustees Thursday night declined to take up the matter of Boughton Material Inc.’s bid for a concrete recycling permit at its facility at 22750 W. Hassert Blvd.
The township had previously indicated to Will County that it had no objection to the facility, but after neighboring residents, and the cities of Naperville and Bolingbrook, objected to the project, the township decided to re-evaluate its position.
“The petitioner needs to have a chance to respond,” Trustee Frank King said in reference to written objections raised by opponents.
King went on to say that the matter was in the hands of township attorneys and stressed the importance of allowing the petitioner due process of the law.
BMI attorney Scott Pointner said before the unanimous vote to table the matter that objectors had presented 40 to 50 pages of objections to the proposal and that he needed time to respond to the charges.
“I would like them to have the written response,” he said.
The Will County Coalition for Responsible Industrial Activities has opposed BMI’s petition for a zoning change and a conditional use permit for several reasons, among them that the concrete recycled could contain asbestos, a known carcinogen.
The group has the support of 13 homeowners associations and also cited concerns about possible noise, exposed stockpiles of unsightly materials and potential groundwater contamination.
Pointner has maintained that fears about asbestos are unwarranted, and noted that BMI is already permitted to restart its quarry operation on the site, calling it far more intensive than the planned recycling of concrete.
Moreover, he stressed that the concrete recycled would come from sources other than building materials that commonly contain asbestos.
The Will South Cook Soil and Water Preservation District expressed concern over possible groundwater contamination, but the village of Plainfield, the Plainfield Fire Department and the Will County Highway Department presented letters to the Will County Planning and Zoning Commission indicating no objections to the proposal.
But the Will County Planning and Zoning Commissionrejected the petitions for zoning changes and denied the conditional use permit unanimously.
The matter was scheduled to go before the full Will County Board Jan. 8, but was cancelled at the last minute, frustrating opponents who had ordered buses to take opponents to the meeting to express their opposition.
Deb Holscher, candidate for township trustee in the upcoming April election, told the board that “there are a lot of small business people waiting to see what happens with this decision.”
Pointner indicated that he would likely have a written response to the residents’ objections soon.