Coal is big business in Illinois.

The Problem: Big Coal Costs Illinois’ Taxpayers in Health and Dollars

The numbers behind coal’s impact on the health of Illinois’ lands, waters and people are sobering:

  • Nearly 1,000 miles of the 21.8% of streams assessed by the Illinois EPA are considered impaired for either public drinking water supply or aquatic life due to impacts from mining activities.

  • In Illinois alone, emissions from coal-fired power plants are responsible for 621 premature deaths and 1,018 heart attacks annually (Clean Air Task Force).

  • At each Illinois coal-fired power plant investigated (22 of 24), groundwater contamination has been found due to coal ash disposal.

  • In the last 40 years over 36,000 acres have been subsided by longwall mining, and 3 of the largest new mines opening in the state are longwall mines that will destroy thousands of acres each year.

And the Coal Industry drains $20 million from the Illinois state budget annualy.

The Solution: Exposing the True Cost of Coal

In spite of coal’s devastating impacts on Illinois communities, our state continues to subsidize polluting coal mines and power plants with millions of dollars in grants and tax benefits. Prairie Rivers Network worked with our partners to release a report documenting the True Cost of Coal to Illinois’ Taxpayers.

Water & Energy Priorities

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