Boom goes the dynamite

Opinion: Editorials

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The Landmark View

Residents of Brookfield's south end know too well the impact of living near a limestone quarry. The intermittent dynamite blasts, the odd earthquake and the pervasive dust all lend a certain patina to life near 47th Street.

You have our sympathies.

Recently, residents near the Hanson Material Service quarry, which sits just south of 47th Street west of Prairie Avenue in McCook, were notified that operations there had shifted.

For the past two decades, the quarry had been engaged in surface mining and the blasting done to dislodge the limestone bedrock had been moving southward, away from Brookfield.

But, recently, the quarry began underground mining operations. And the blasting is now moving northward, toward Brookfield.  A letter sent to residents on April 16 made clear that the blasting is being contained to the quarry property; no one is mining under residences in Brookfield.

In other words, we're not blasting under your home, it may just feel like it.

There is a complaint line residents can call at 866-934-3278, and those complaints are supposed to be discussed at a quarterly meeting of a committee that includes quarry and local officials.

Is there much residents can do to affect mining operations, which are federally monitored? Probably not, but at least have your voice heard by calling the complaint line. And, if that fails, you can urge local officials to put whatever pressure they can to maintain quality of life.

Enduring dynamite blasts six days per week is a lot to ask.

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