ATTEND APRIL 2 HCA MEETING
AND APRIL 3 LOBBY DAY
This year, over 100 bills on environmental issues have been proposed, and four of these are related to coal. That’s why we’re planning to hold our next HCA meeting in Springfield on Wednesday, April 2nd, so that as many of us as possible can join Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) and member organizations on this year’s designated lobby day, Thursday, April 3rd.
This is the time to move HCA’s agenda forward! HB5866 doubles funding for solar energy by dissolving the Illinois Coal Technology Development Assistance fund, which subsidizes the coal industry. Details on bills, meeting and lobby days here. Be sure to let us know you are coming!
IDNR/IEPA’S NEW MATH
At a recent hearing, the IDNR said that the 624 WATER PERMIT VIOLATIONS “racked up” by Springfield Coal, one of the worst polluters in the state, would be considered as ONE SINGLE VIOLATION when it decides whether or not to renew the mining permit for the corporation’s Industry Mine.
“I just can’t accept the new kind of whitewash of the violations,” said Blumenshine. “It just makes this whole permitting — promises that mines are supposed to be in compliance — sound like, I hate to say it, a joke.”
These are the same operators want to open two new mines in the region: one near Canton in Fulton County and the other near Littleton in Schuyler County. Read the coverage by TriState Public Radio. Comments on the permit renewal are due March 10, 2014.
CHALLENGE THE IDNR
For a revealing look at the broken Illinois coal regulatory system, watch this video of a recent hearing in Hillsboro, filmed and produced by EJC. Coal baron Chris Cline and Hillsboro Energy, LLC’s interests trump those of farmers and residents.
First watch the video, then follow the money in this excellent article by Will Reynolds that chronicles the campaign donations given to elected officials by Cline.
TESTIFY AT UPDCOMING
MAY COAL ASH HEARINGS
The Illinois EPA has proposed rules to the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) to address coal ash pits at power plant sites. The proposed rules are a good start but they need to be improved.
We need YOU to come testify and tell IPCB members how important it is to you that they adopt strong rules.. The hearing will be held in Chicago:
May 14 and 15, 2014
James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St.
Justice for Rocky BranchThe Rocky Branch community is surrounded by mining, including Peabody's Wildcat Hills Mine
Justice for Rocky BranchPeabody is proposing to expand nearby Cottage Grove Mine by 1,019 acres
Justice for Rocky BranchImpacts from existing mine operations include coal dust, noise and constant truck traffic
Justice for Rocky BranchExpansion means road closures, damaged farmland, home displacement and destruction of streams and forest
Citizens Against Longwall MiningDeer Run Mine is a longwall mine in Montgomery County, IL, owned by Hillsboro Energy, a subsidiary of the Cline Group
Citizens Against Longwall MiningAn 80-foot tall, high-hazard coal slurry impoundment was built near a hospital, school, nursing home and day care center
Citizens Against Longwall MiningCoal slurry is toxic and includes carcinogenic compounds and heavy metals that cannot be recycled or reused
Citizens Against Longwall MiningNow Hillsboro Energy wants to build a second impoundment next to the first that would be twice the size
THREATENED BY COAL MINING
Peabody’s Rocky Branch Mine (photos)
Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, is on the move in Saline County. It has filed an application to expand its strip mining operation to allow mining of up to 1,019 acres in the Rocky Branch Community south of state Route 13 and east of Harrisburg. Peabody has applied to Saline County for permission to close Rocky Branch Road to the public, elevate it and use it for a haul road for the mine.
Support the residents in their opposition and their right to maintain their livelihoods and quality of life! They already are hearing the blasting associated with existing mining seven days a week and are concerned that mining operations would cause flooding, destroy family farms, and be located up to 300 feet from some of their homes. Read:
CALM / Deer Run Mine (photos)
Citizens Against Longwall Mining (CALM) is a group of central Illinois residents who have been fighting the Deer Run Coal Mine in Hillsboro, IL since 2004. They are opposed to coal mining practices such as longwall mining that destroy fertile farmland (sinking some of the world’s most valuable farmland by as much as six feet), as well as coal ash and coal slurry disposal methods that threaten the health of their communities, lands and waters.
Deer Run Mine is owned and operated by a Hillsboro Energy, a subsidiary of The Cline Group. Chris Cline made his fortune in Appalachia before moving to the Illinois coal basin. Contrary to original approvals for an “in ground” slurry disposal area, an above-ground, high-hazard coal slurry impoundment was built in the City of Hillsboro, near a hospital, nursing home, daycare, and homes. It is 80-feet tall and covers more than a square mile. Now a second impoundment, twice the size as the first, is proposed next to the first.
Support CALM by attending the February 19, 2014 public hearing in Montgomery Co. for the five-year renewal for the Deer Run Mine permit #399, which includes the first impoundment. More …
SUTC / Bulldog Mine (photos)
Sunrise Coal LLC of Terre Haute, Indiana has been approaching landowners in Vermilion and Champaign Counties and asking them to sign a lease granting Sunrise the ability to mine coal under the prime farmland of this area. Landowners, property owners and residents of the area that includes the towns of Allerton, Sidell, Fairmount, Homer and Broadlands, Illinois have formed a group called Stand Up to Coal to prevent the destruction of their farmland and agricultural quality of life.
Stand Up to Coal believes in local control. Over the past four years, they have prevented Sunrise Coal from meeting their targeted 2014 opening date due to widespread and successful strategic community opposition. Sign their petition and learn more here.
CACEI / North Canton Mine (photos)
The Capital Resource Development Company, LLC’s North Canton Mine is proposed to be located just over a mile north of Canton Lake in Canton, Illinois. The mine would destroy over 1,000 acres of woods and farmland; threaten both the health and quality of life of our community, including Canton Lake, a source of clean drinking water for over 20,000 people (approximately 54% of the county’s population). As proposed, the mine would discharge pollution into Copperas Creek about a mile upstream of Canton Lake. Private wells and septic tanks in rural areas also could be affected by this pollution.
This is the same group responsible for the disastrous Industry Mine in McDonough and Schuyler Counties – which has violated its water permit 624 times between 2004 and 2001! Support the organizing efforts of Canton Area Citizens for Environmental Issues (CACEI) in their appeal of the original North Canton Mine permit #385. Sign their petition and watch their website for further actions.