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home : news : business   February 26, 2015

7/22/2014 6:35:00 AM
New sand processing plant moving closer to you

Kevin Caufield
Staff Writer

OTTAWA — Northern White Sand has submitted a new special use application to expand its silica sand processing and transportation capabilities.

Except this time, it’s nowhere near potentially toxic landfills.

Here’s what you need to know about the new application and when the next public hearing on the matter will take place.

Location: NWS will use an 80-acre tract of land located immediately east of its eastern mine entrance along U.S. 6. Motorists who travel U.S. 6 can expect more semi-truck traffic if the project is approved.

Details: The company proposes to build a sand processing and drying facility on the site. It also will include a truck loading facility where semitrucks will be loaded with processed sand to be shipped to market. The proposal calls for the trucks to be loaded in an enclosed facility.

Slurry line I: A slurry line that runs above ground from the actual NWS mine to the newly proposed site will carry a mixture of 75 percent water and 25 percent sand to the processing facility. This plan could change if NWS prefers to use a conveyor system.

Slurry line II: A second slurry line is proposed to carry a 75/25 water/sand mixture above ground along North 2803rd Road east to an area before the Buffalo Rock Shooting Range. From there it will go under the road and carry south until it reaches near the CSX railroad. It will then carry east parallel to the railroad before taking a turn south to its river barge terminal west of La Salle County Nursing Home.

Environmental issues: The second slurry line follows a path that avoids the Brockman landfills on its way to the barge facility. But the 80-acre parcel now being used for the plant and loading facility has a 205 Land Evaluation and Site Assessment score. Generally, farmland that scores above 200 is considered prime farm ground.

What’s next: La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals is planning to hold a public hearing on the new application 5 p.m. Aug. 20 at Knights of Columbus Hall in Ottawa.

Kevin Caufield can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or

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