Shay #1 Mine
Shay Mine No. 1 formerly Monterey Mine No. 1 is an underground mine 5 miles south of Carlinville, Illinois. Historically it has used a combination of room and pillar mining as well as longwall mining. It was owned by Monterey Coal Company, a division of Exxon Coal USA, Inc. In 2009 ExxonMobil sold the mine to Macoupin Energy LLC, part of the Cline Group, owned by Chris Cline, which also owns Hillsboro Energy and has mines elsewhere in Illinois and West Virginia. According to references listed on SourceWatch, Monterey was ExxonMobil’s last active coal mine.
- Owner: Macoupin Energy
- Parent company: Cline Group
- Location: 14300 Brushy Mound Road, Carlinville, IL
- GPS coordinates: 39.26552, -89.884086
- Production: 2.1 million tons (2007), 3 million by 2011
- Type of coal: Bituminous
- Mine type: Underground
- Equipment: Longwall
- Number of employees: 70 (2007)
COAL SLURY INECTION
In 2009, Cline’s Macoupin Energy told the Department of Natural Resources that it expects to generate 750,000 tons of coal slurry a year at full production at Shay Mine 1, and asked for permission to inject the waste into the ground. Coal slurry is a byproduct of washing coal, and can contain arsenic, heavy metals, and other pollutants. Millions of gallons of slurry from past mining operations are already onsite at the mine, contained in a massive unlined impoundments with walls more than 100 feet high. Two of the 6 slurry impoundments are still actively accepting new waste, RDA #5 (approximately 150 acres) and RDA #6 (approximately 250 acres). The mine owner made the request as a proposed insignificant permit revision, meaning no hearing or public notification would be required. The request is pending.The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) categorizes slurry injection wells as the sort used to get rid of non-hazardous waste, and thus no IEPA permit is required before operations begin. See “Activists raise concerns about coal mine slurry injection in Illinois” July 18, 2010
IN THE NEWS
PERMITS IN PROCESS
Prairie Rivers Network, Sierra Club and several residents of Macoupin and Montgomery counties submitted a comment letter and requested a public hearing on whether Shay I Mine’s pollution discharge permit, currently up for renewal, is protective enough to be reissued. Specific issues raised include the following:
- Permit does not address cumulative impacts of previous and ongoing surface and groundwater contamination.
- Unlawful use of public waters for onsite treatment of wastewater
- State regulation prohibiting degradation of streams not properly applied.
The hearing is set for 6:00pm on April 27, 2011 in Carlinville, Illinois.
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