Protect Canton Lake and Copperas Creek from Strip Mining!

Click image for flyer


In an article published today in the Huffington Post, journalist and author Jeff Biggers joins Illinois coalfield residents in calling on Governor Quinn to take action to protect clean water from reckless strip mining.

Over 20,000 residents of Canton and neighboring communities rely on Canton Lake for clean drinking water, and the West and Middle Branches of Copperas Creek provide some of the highest quality wildlife habitat, hunting, and fishing left in Fulton County.

But the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has tentatively decided to issue water pollution permits for a 1,084 acre strip coal mine that would send additional pollution into Canton Lake and Copperas Creek, and allow for the destruction of miles of tributary streams.

Even worse, the applicant is the same group responsible for the disastrous Industry Mine in McDonough and Schuyler Counties – which has violated the Clean Water Act by discharging polluted water at levels above its permit over 300 times since 2003! Despite ongoing legal action by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and widespread local opposition the Industry Mine is still not complying with the law.

How can Illinois EPA even consider issuing a permit to a company with such a bad record so close to a source of clean drinking water?

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has scheduled a public hearing for the North Canton Mine’s required water pollution permits (click here for public notice and flyer).

The hearings will be held at 5:00pm and 7:30pm on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at the Donaldson Center, 250 S. Avenue D, Canton, Illinois.

We urge everyone who supports the preservation and protection of Canton Lake and its watershed to attend these public hearings! Illinois EPA has tentatively decided to issue the mine’s permits – they need to hear from the public that these permits will not protect Canton Lake, Copperas Creek, local groundwater, and all of the wildlife, forests, aquatic life and birds that depend on clean water to survive. Illinois EPA must not issue these permits!

Attend the Public Hearings

West Branch of Copperas Creek Entering Canton Lake

Anyone may attend the public hearings and make comments – this is our chance to let Illinois EPA know that we are opposed to the increased pollution that would go into Copperas Creek and Canton Lake from the mine, as well as the destruction of the headwater streams they depend on. Illinois EPA must protect Canton Lake, a source of drinking water for over 20,000 local residents, and an invaluable resource for recreation and wildlife!

A public hearing will be held on the mine’s NPDES Water Discharge Permit on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 at 5:00pm. The public hearing on the mine’s 401 Water Quality Certification will commence at the close of the NPDES hearing at approximately 7:30 p.m. Verbal comments will be accepted at the hearings and written comments must be postmarked or e-mailed by midnight, Jan. 5, 2012 when the hearing records close.

Submit Written Comments:

  • NPDES Water Discharge letters and e-mail should go to Hearing Officer Dean Studer, IEPA, P O Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794-8280 E-mail must be sent to
  • 401 Water Quality Certification letters and e-mail go to Hearing Officer Dean Studer, IEPA, P O Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794-9276 and e-mail must be sent to

Both letters and e-mail must specify “Capital Resources Development Company NPDES” in the subject line.

Contact Governor Quinn!

Governor Quinn needs to hear from Illinois residents who are concerned about these coal mining permits that would threaten clean water and high quality wildlife habitat. Please call Governor Quinn’s office now at (217)782-0244 and demand that his agency not issue these permits! And don’t forget to sign the petition.

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