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Controversial sand mine near Starved Rock almost ready to roll

Posted by wlpo on July 11, 2014

The sand mine that arguably started the ongoing debate in the Illinois Valley is just a few months away from opening up.

La Salle County Environmental Services and Land Use Director Mike Harsted says Mississippi Sand, LLC should start mining this fall along Route 71 just east of Starved Rock State Park. If you drive by the property you’ll see some land work has already been done and drying equipment and conveyor belts are in place.

Mississippi Sand officials first turned in paperwork to mine the land in 2011. The project has taken almost three years for various reasons. A lawsuit in Springfield trying to stop the project was recently tossed out.

A vocal opposition group led by the Sierra Club argues the mine will damage Starved Rock State Park. Mississippi Sand has said they will provide dozens of good-paying jobs and pump around $9 million into the local economy. Even without mining yet, the company has sponsored community events in and around Ottawa.

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