After several public meetings, La Salle City Council voted unanimously to approve five recommendations from the city planning commission and 15 ordinances that clear the way for Illinois Cement to mine new land in Dimmick Township, Ill., reported the La Salle News Tribune.

Prior to the votes, Illinois Cement unveiled a well agreement for residents living near the mining area, within conditions and after an inspection by a licensed geologist with a specialty in hydrogeology. Residents can enter well agreements voluntarily.

“We will offer well protection determined to be within the zone of influence,” said Wayne Emmer, Illinois Cement president. “In my career, I have never had to replace a well. I will never say it doesn’t happen. Illinois Cement is confident we can take care of everybody’s well.”

The company wants to close its existing quarry and begin mining land in a square-mile section of Dimmick Township, moving west for 10 to 20 years and north for another 20 years, restoring mined land as it goes. Illinois Cement owns six parcels and has options to buy another six. One parcel was previously annexed into the city. The company wanted the city to annex the other 11 parcels, rezone them to heavy industrial and issue special use permits to allow mining. The voluntary well agreement offering was attached as a condition to the special use permits.

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