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Protect Starved Rock From Frac Sand Pollution

In December of 2011, the LaSalle County Zoning Board voted unanimously to recommend giving Mississippi Sand, LLC a special use permit to mine directly adjacent to Starved Rock State Park. The proposed mine project will mine for frac sand, which is sand used to enlarge openings during oil and natural gas extraction.

Starved Rock State Park and the rare brackish wetland areas located at the proposed mine site are listed in Illinois’ Natural Area Inventory and have been designated as high quality natural communities to be protected. These areas provide valuable habitat for a wide array of plant and animal life that will be directly and indirectly impacted by the noise, pollution, and constant activity generated by the mine. The mine also has the potential to significantly alter the hydrology of the area.

LaSalle County’s natural areas and Starved Rock are unique assets that not only offer a chance to experience Illinois’ natural heritage but are also a strong economic engine for the Illinois River Valley region as well. Over two million people visit Starved Rock State park each year providing county businesses with customers and local governments with revenues.

The proposed mine threatens Starved Rock State Park, would discharge mine wastewater into Horseshoe Creek which flows into the park, and will ultimately destory Ernat’s Marsh, a salt marsh on the state’s inventory of rarest natural areas.

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Only an hour and a half drive from Chicago, Starved Rock has unrivaled canyons and rare salt marshes that provide valuable habitat for plants and wildlife. This will all change if the Mississippi Frac Sand Mine is allowed to operate just outside the park.


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