LaFargeHolcim Fox River Stone Quarry FAQ’s
What is the LaFargeHolcim Fox River Stone Quarry?
LaFargeHolcim operates the Fox River Stone quarry located at 1300 S. IL-31 in South Elgin. Products from the quarry include crushed limestone, sand and gravel. The operation is an “undergound” mining operation (meaning no surface blasting) with above ground processing and loading operations. There is also a concrete operation on the property, currently run by Ozinga.
Why is the Fox River Stone Quarry here?
Quarries are located where high-quality stone reserves were deposited by nature. The Fox River Stone Quarry has been a mine for decades, and the Village of South Elgin and other development grew around it.
What zoning approvals have been granted to allow the Fox River Stone Quarry to operate?
When the property was annexed into South Elgin in 1992, the Village Board at the time granted Special Use approval for it to continue to be operated as a mine. In 2003, the Special Use permit was amended to include LaFargeHolcim’s current configuration. The approving ordinances regulate operating hours, when underground blasting may occur, and where explosives may be stored.
What are the Fox River Stone Quarry operating hours?
Underground mining operations and the transfer of mined resources to stockpiles on the surface may be conducted without limitation as to the hours or days of operation; however, surface crushing, transportation of materials using trucks or other heavy equipment, and the sale and loading of trucks may only occur during surface mining operation hours (“Surface Hours”) noted below.
Allowed Surface Hours of operations for LaFargeHolcim’s above-ground and surface mining operations are:
Allowed hours of sales and stockpiled products are:
The Surface Hours of operation may be expanded in an emergency or with Village Board approval.
From time to time, LaFargeHolcim requests a modification to expand Surface Hours. The South Elgin Village Board reviews the requests and makes a determination if the requested extension is appropriate.
What are the operating hours for trucks and heavy equipment on site?
General truck operations while not hauling materials (e.g., idling, driving around the site, backing up) are allowed outside of the Surface Hours.
Idling of diesel powered commercial vehicles or truck tractors on a commercial property within 300 feet of residential property is limited by the Village Code of Ordinances to the hours of 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. “Idling” is being parked in the same location with the engine one for more than an aggregate of 10 minutes, with the exception of vehicles engaged in deliveries.
Do trucks leaving the Fox River Stone Quarry property need to be covered or tarped?
Trucks have to be tarped only if they are losing any portion of the load. Trucks used to haul materials to/from the mining operation must be loaded to prevent spillage onto the public right of way. State law and Village ordinances require trucks carrying aggregate material to be tarped if any portion of the load is falling, sifting, blowing, dropping or in any way escaping from the vehicle. The South Elgin Police enforce truck tarping laws when they witness a truck violating the regulations.
Materials and dust coming off of truck tires and onto the roadways as the trucks are exiting the LaFargeHolcim site do not violate State law or Village Ordinance. The South Elgin Police cannot write tickets for that occurrence. (See also Can the Village prevent dust from the site? below).
Any spillage onto the public right of way must be removed at LaFargeHolcim’s expense.
Can a sign permanently be installed in the right-of-way reminding truckers leaving the quarry to cover their loads?
No. The Village of South Elgin, Kane County, and the Illinois Department of Transportation all utilize standards contained in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Devices (MUTCD) when determining when, where, and how to install traffic control devices, such as highway signs, on all public streets, highways, and roads open to public travel. MUTCD does not allow for this signage. Occasionally, the South Elgin Police utilize a temporary trailer sign to remind truck drivers of the regulations.
Signage has been installed by LaFargeHolcim on its private property to remind truckers of the state and village regulations regarding tarping.
Is LaFargeHolcim blasting under my house?
Although you may feel vibrations from underground blasting, LaFargeHolcim is not mining under your house. They are limited to underground mining of property it owns or leases.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources regulations contain specific conditions pertaining to blasting and set limits for vibrations and for monitoring of the blast and vibrations by LaFargeHolcim. The regulations require the quarry’s blasts to be within specific limits established by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Vibrations are measured at the property line of adjacent private property and the mine or at the far side of the right-of-way across from the mine.
Can the Village prevent dust from the site?
The Village has no authority to require LaFargeHolcim to reduce or alter its operations or install equipment to reduce dust from the site. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) does regulate dust from the site and will investigate complaints. The IEPA (and not the Village) measures and regulates the amount of particulate permitted in the air. If you witness or have complaints about pollution from the site, you may submit your complaint to the IEPA via its website at: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/pollution-complaint/Pages/submit-a-complaint.aspx
Can the Village shut down LaFargeHolcim’s operations for being a nuisance?
LaFargeHolcim has the right to operate the Fox River Stone Quarry. These operations can lead to traffic, noise, and dust, but having allowed these operations and uses in its Unified Development Ordinance (and preceding Zoning Codes), the Village cannot now declare that these operations constitute a public nuisance.
Actions the Village can and has taken include: actively enforcing truck tarping laws when South Elgin Police witness a truck violating the regulations; urging LaFargeHolcim continue to voluntarily implement a variety dust mitigation efforts; and maintaining LaFargeHolcim’s hours of operation.