Citizens Oppose Expansion of Deer Run Mine – As It Continues to Burn
As an underground mine fire continues to spread at the Deer Run Mine in Hillsboro, Illinois, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources considers an application to expand the mine by 7,700 acres. The existing mine has been on fire since March of 2015, and attempts to put it out have failed.
IDNR Feels the Heat
Local residents express their frustration with IDNR, whose actions associated with permit revisions for the existing mine favor the company, rather than famers and residents directly affected by mining operations. During the informal hearing, they voice their opposition to the permit, citing health concerns, eroding farmland, water quality, subsidence, and reduced property values associated with the current operation. Deer Run Mine is located within the City of Hillsboro, next to a hospital, day care center, nursing home, and school. Hillsboro Energy is one of Chris Cline’s Illinois companies. Mr. Cline began investing in Illinois in 2004, with the anticipation that coal mining in Appalachia would become more expensive over time, and that Illinois coal, which is easier and more cost-effective to mine, would prove to be highly profitable for his business.
Read more about the fire and proposed expansion of Deer Run Mine in this article by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News: Smoldering fire stokes concerns about Illinois coal mine.