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USACE Chicago District continues to monitor transplant of rare wetland ecosystem at Heidelberg Material Service in Romeoville, Ill.

Posted on March 6, 2024

This month, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Chicago District, along with representatives from Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), observed the transplant of a mesic dolomite prairie by Heidelberg Material Service (HMS) from a proposed mining location.

The transplant is part of a larger compensatory mitigation project which includes the enhancement, restoration and preservation of over 400 acres of land on HMS property.

As part of the Section 404 permit process to surface mine their last available unit of land for limestone aggregate, HMS worked with the USACE Chicago Regulatory Branch, IDNR, and USFWS, to develop a plan to move the prairie in small segments to a new location. Section 404 refers to the section of the Clean Water Act of 1972 that prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands, without a Department of the Army permit.

The transfer happened entirely within HMS property from the proposed mining site near Material Road and Route 53 in Romeoville, Ill., to a restored parcel of land on the east side of the Des Plaines River, south of Romeo Road and New Ave. The new prairie site contains the same geological and hydrological features needed for its survival.

Mesic dolomite prairie is a globally rare wetland ecosystem and is home to several state and federally listed threatened and endangered species. This includes the Hines Emerald Dragonfly and the Leafy Prairie Clover, both found on the mitigation site.

HMS will complete the transplant early spring 2024 and continue to maintain and monitor the site for vegetative success over the next 10 years.


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