Boughton Materials, Incorporated (BMI) plans to crush and recycle concrete at the rock quarry along 111th Street.
Residents from 16 different nearby neighborhoods are opposing the plans because of concerns regarding traffic, noise, and their health and safety.
“We’ve always been concern about what this recycling was going to do for our environment with the potential asbestos that could be in the environment,” said Naperville resident Michael Duncan.
“We have multiple residents on the Naperville, Plainfield, and Bolingbrook sides who are on well water and with this crushed concrete operation, there’ll be stockpiles of concrete that’ll be exposed to rain, wind, the outside elements,” said Kamala Martinez, President of the River Run Homeowners Association. “If any of these particles seep into the ground, it can very easily get into the water supply.”
In order to legally crush concrete at the quarry, BMI had to get an industrial use permit from Will County, as the property was zoned for agriculture only.
About this time last year, the county board turned down the permit but the company came back threating to sue.
“No one was denying the fact that they didn’t want to have that permit and for Boughton to go ahead and recycle. We made that very clear with not one person voting for it,” said Board Member Suzanne Hart. “But the thought of putting in the dollars, knowing we’re going to lose and then not having restrictions, my board was not going to be swayed one way or another.”
So in December, the two parties agreed on a settlement where BMI could operate their recycling facility but with seven additional restrictions like limited operating times and having to spray water when the concrete was crushed to reduce emissions.
When local residents just recently learned of the settlement, they were not happy.
“There was no communication to us, that this lawsuit was even going through,” said Duncan. “I just feel like the county board just abandoned us in a way with this lawsuit that we had no say in.”
“When I’m wrong I’ll say I’m wrong. I should have absolutely reached out and said, ’Hey this vote is up,’” said Hart. “I think they just wanted that chance to get in front of the board again, even though at this point, public comment was over.
Martinez has put together a coalition to fight the concrete recycling center and says they’ll continue to exhaust all options to keep residents safe.
“We are going to be looking into air monitoring devices, looking into ground water monitoring, and be looking at working with other agencies like the EPA or OSEA on this issue,” she said.
Boughton Materials, Inc. Denied commenting on camera but their own sent a statement saying: “Some residents have made this a contentious issue and I do not believe it is in our best interest to debate this issue again. We firmly believed, based on Illinois law, that the Will County Board erred in their decision to deny us a permit and we sought the opinion of the court.”
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