Macoupin Responsiveness Summary
1. We face great loss of natural water supplies, and pollution of what is left if longwall
mining is allowed in Illinois. What is EPA doing to combat mining pollution and
water losses from mining, in Illinois? I know longwall mining has occurred in
Macoupin Co. and Southern Illinois. I have a farm in Illinois where longwall mining
has been proposed and I am seriously worried about the repercussions.
Response: For underground mining operations, whether they be longwall or
conventional (room-and-pillar), Illinois EPA only permits the surface facilities of
such operations. The actual underground mining operation is outside the scope of our
authority as granted under 35 Ill. Adm. Code. Subtitle D (mining regulations). The
underground mining operations are handled through a mining permit issued by
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)/Office of Mines and Minerals.
2. My research for a LUMP (Lands Unsuitable for Mining Petition) tells me of complete
changes in watershed, and losses of waters in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
Illinois is the heart of the breadbasket of the world. Why is EPA allowing destructive
mining practices to remove a nonrenewable resource (coal) while destroying
renewable resources (water and land)?
Response: As the permitting activities for actual mining operation fall outside of the
regulatory scope of Illinois EPA, these impacts should be sent to the IDNR/ Office of
Mines and Minerals.
3. Tributaries of Shoal Creek and Macoupin Creek supply water in pastures so farmers
can raise livestock. These tributaries may be destroyed by longwall mining, causing
billions of dollars damage in the next century, because livestock cannot be raised
without water. Is EPA aware of its future damage? Has it happened in Macoupin
County? If so, what is EPA doing about it?
Response: Longwall mining has been conducted under tributaries to Honey Creek in
Macoupin County and Illinois EPA is not aware of any damage occurring to the streams.
4. Longwall mining, with its earthquake like damage, when 95 percent of the coal is
removed, can damage dams on the four major lakes in Montgomery County, as well
as farm ponds. Is the EPA aware of this type of damage in Macoupin County? How
has it affected lakes in that area?
Response: Illinois EPA is not aware of this type of damage being caused by longwall
mining in Macoupin County.
5. Bottomland is turned into wetlands by longwall mining because when that much coal
is removed, the ground sinks four or five feet. Has that happened in Macoupin
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