November 26, 2012
The Illinois Pollution Control Board has agreed with Prairie Rivers Network, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and The Sierra Club that Industry Mine violated its permit more than 600 times!
The Industry Coal Mine in McDonough and Schuyler Counties has been getting away with polluting local waterways for years. But on November 16, 2012, the Illinois Pollution Control Board determined that the irresponsible operation of this mine will not go unpunished.
The Board’s ruling is a great victory for the people living in the watersheds of Camp Creek, Willow Creek, and Grindstone Creek, as well as the Lamoine River Ecosystem Partnership, whose members have been fighting for years to stop the pollution from the mine.
The Board agreed with Prairie Rivers Network and our partners that Industry Mine violated its permit 624 times over a period of 8 years. The violations included unlawful discharges of iron, manganese, sulfates, acid, and total suspended solids–enough pollution to pose serious threats to water quality. Until we took action, nothing had been done by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources or the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to stop the pollution or to hold the mine owners accountable for their flagrant noncompliance.
Springfield Coal Company, the current owner of Industry Mine, is seeking to open two new strip mines near Canton and Littleton. We believe the new coal mines will pose serious risks to Canton’s public drinking water supply and to the high quality woodlands and streams in these communities.
Prairie Rivers Network has been working with Canton Area Citizens for Environmental Issues and other local residents to prevent Springfield Coal Company from setting up or expanding its coal operations in their communities.
The Board will hold a hearing to determine the amount of penalties they will impose on the owners of Industry Mine. Please stay tuned for hearing details and information about how you can help us to make a strong case for the maximum penalties allowable under the law.