In 1991, the McHenry County Gravel Task Force issued a comprehensive report relating to the state of the sand and gravel industry in this county. This report accomplished a number of objectives including documenting the importance of the sand and gravel industry to this county and formed the basis for the county’s gravel pit zoning ordinances -- the most rigorous set of operations and reclamation standards in existence within this State.
Although the County has done a fine job regulating the industry, it became clear that the industry needed to take further steps – to do additional things to become better neighbors in McHenry County. In 2003, Rep. Jack Franks and representatives from sand and gravel companies in the County came together to form the McHenry County Gravel Advisory Council (Council)--a forum designed to focus on conflict resolution.
The Council is comprised of the chief elected official of each of the local units of government within McHenry County, Illinois and the chief corporate official of each company producing aggregates within McHenry County or their designated representative. The purpose of the Council is to provide a forum for the county, townships and municipalities to discuss mine-related issues impacting their communities and is an official advisory commission to the County Board. This forum also provides a platform for aggregate producers to communicate the positive contributions being made as well as foster continued participation and growth as corporate neighbors.
In the years since the Council’s inception, many issues have been addressed such as:
Dust Control: Potential ways to reduce dust generated at mine entrances and exits, surrounding roadways and processing operations.
Truck Traffic: Traffic levels, tarping, establishing specific truck routes, hours of operation, speed limits, safety, weight and impacts on roads.
Impact of mining on water quantity / water quality of surrounding wells.
Long-Term Mine Plans: Proposed operational changes, projected years of operation and reclamation plans (“Life After the Mine”).
Limiting public access to mine property.
Ensuring compliance with local, county and state statutes.
Propose and review County, State, and Local legislation including zoning, permitting and groundwater monitoring ordinances.
Educating elected officials and the general public about the gravel mining process and the gravel mining industry’s responsibilities, challenges and commitments.
Council meetings are currently held at least twice a year but are held as often as Council members feel it is necessary.