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McCook Quarry to resume blasting March 17

Published: Monday, March 17, 2014 2:26 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:51 p.m. CDT
(Shaw Media file photo)
A sign along East Avenue in La Grange warns of explosives in use at the quarry in McCook.

COUNTRYSIDE – Four months after November's earthquake, blasting activities will resume at the Hanson Material Service Federal Quarry in McCook on March 17.

The blasts – which were voluntarily put on hold after and small earthquake rocked the region on Nov. 4 moments after a quarry explosion – can be felt by residents throughout Countryside according to Gail Paul, the city administrator.

"They do have a right to resume blasting," Paul said. "The quarry is really dedicated to monitoring the situations."

While Paul said she expects some residents will be upset about the blasts, she does not expect a second earthquake event similar to the November incident.

"[The quarry] is trying to figure out what could be causing this and how to avoid it from happening again," Paul said.

Blasts happen daily, according to Paul, who said the city usually feels the aftermath around lunch time.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, said he plans to continue to keep a close eye on the quarry and its development. Lipinski was outspoken about the need for federal review of what led to the earthquake and if it was triggered by quarry blasting following Nov. 4 earthquake.

“The safety of the residents of the district is my top priority," Lipinski said. "I have met or obtained briefings from federal and state regulators, as well as Hanson, throughout the investigation.  I am hopeful that this was an isolated incident and precautions are in place to avoid any future damage to the community, but I will not let up on this.”

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