Where: Montgomery County Historic Courthouse, No. 1 Courthouse Square, Hillsboro, IL
second floor county board room.
When: February 19, 2014, 6 PM
Deer Run Mine has been operating since 2011. Subsequent to its approval in 2009, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources / Office of Mines and Minerals allowed the construction of an 80-foot tall, one square-mile coal slurry impoundment instead of the in-ground facility proposed during the permit application review and public hearing process. This facility, which contains highly toxic, carcinogenic chemicals and organic compounds that cannot be recycled or reused, is located in the City of Hillsboro, next to a hospital; school; nursing home; and day care center. It is rated as a high hazard dam, which means that if the coal slurry impoundment were to fail, it would result in loss of life and property in Hillsboro and Schram City, and could send pollution downstream into the watershed of Lake Hillsboro.
Now a second high-hazard coal slurry impoundment will be constructed next to the first, since the first impoundment was designed to last just five years. It will be twice the size as the first, covering an area 1/2 miles by two miles. It, too, will be located in the City of Hillsboro.
Since 2009, Citizens Against Longwall Mining and the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club have been petitioning the IDNR / OMM for an administrative review hearing regarding the approval of #399 that was incomplete, invalid, and misleading. The incised waste refuse area approved in Permit #399 was changed through “insignificant revisions” to become an enclosed impoundment with a synthetic liner. Hillsoboro Energy then applied for a Significant Revision to Permit #399 to raise the already constructed base of the impoundment to a height of 80 feet. There have been 4 permit applications to OMM by Hillsboro Energy:
- The original Permit #399.
- Significant Revision 1 of Permit# 399 for impoundment 1.
- Permit #424 for the 2nd impoundment.
- Renewal of Permit #399.
On October 31, 2013, a new IDNR Hearing Officer dismissed CALM’s petition to challenge Permit #399. See Administrative Review Testimony on Deer Run Mine Not Allowed by Office of Mines and Minerals. Citizens are greatly concerned about the power of IDNR / OMM to make changes they deem acceptable to coal mining permits as “Insignificant Revisions,” which are not placed on public notice and have no comment opportunity. See more at Citizens Against Longwall Mining.
On February 19, 2014, the IDNR/OSM will be holding a public hearing to review the 5-year Permit #399 that includes the now-functioning coal slurry impoundment. The hearing will take place at Montgomery County’s Historic Courthouse at 6pm.