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North Aurora Rejects Lafarge Expansion

The Village Board of North Aurora, Ill., unanimously rejected a request to allow Lafarge North America to extend its stone mine beneath two 200-ft.-wide rights of way near a subdivision. Homeowners have reportedly complained that mine blasts routinely shake their houses and have cracked their walls and foundations.

According to a report in The Beacon-News, Lafarge attorney Bruce Goldsmith told trustees the mine has never violated village or federal limits on noise levels or vibrations from underground blasting, despite repeated complaints from homeowners. Residents also said that blasting vibrations have become stronger since Lafarge began mining underneath the 65-ft.-wide setback between the original quarry and the subdivision more than two years ago.

Goldsmith told the board that setting off blasts directly underneath a 30-in.-wide natural gas line that runs through the north right of way would not damage the high-pressure pipe. Residents – and apparently the Village Board – weren’t convinced that expanded mine operations wouldn’t risk damaging the pipe and causing a catastrophic gas explosion.