Lipinski Requests Federal Investigation of McCook Explosion

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) today formally requested that the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms begin an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the reported Nov. 4 blast at a Hanson Materials quarry in McCook that damaged nearby properties and alarmed residents throughout the region. In a letter, the congressman asks that both agencies “ascertain whether laws, regulations, and protocols may have been violated” regarding the purchase, storage and use of explosives.

Rep. Lipinski, a Western Springs resident, also is requesting that the agencies work with state and local governments to make sure the proper measures are in place to protect neighboring communities from similar events in the future.

“Unfortunately,  homeowners and businesses in the western suburbs are accustomed to being disturbed and startled by frequent quarry blasting, but the incident that took place earlier this week demands additional scrutiny. Residents of the area deserve some answers,” Rep. Lipinski said. “I was sitting at my kitchen table at my home in Western Springs when my house started to violently shake for five seconds. This is something that no one should have to tolerate. The potential for unseen damage to homes and businesses caused by a blast such as this is unacceptable. That’s why I am asking the appropriate federal agencies to take a closer look at what exactly happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.”

The blast was recorded by the United States Geological Survey as a 3.2 seismic event that reportedly could be felt as far away as southern Wisconsin. In his letter, the congressman noted a smaller seismic event also occurred in 2010 under similar circumstances.

A copy of Rep. Lipinski’s letter is attached. 

Lipinski Letter Nov. 4 Explosion (11/06/1312:41 PMET )
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