The revisions to the land permit for the proposed Bulldog Coal mine have been accepted by IDNR. Sunrise Coal now has up to 1 year to submit fee payment and proof of bonds. Once Sunrise Coal submits those documents, the public will have 30 days to begin an administrative review, which is the final step in evaluating if the permit meets the letter of the law.
Here is the letter to the editor that was published in the Sidell Reporter regarding the status of Bulldog’s permit application and the next steps in the public process:
PUBLIC BEING LEFT BEHIND BY MINE
Thursday, Oct 19th
The proposed Bulldog Coal mine in southwestern Vermilion County, Illinois is threatening to become a reality again, and the public is getting left behind in the process.
According to Scott Fowler, IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals Land Reclamation Division manager, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has received and accepted all necessary revised documents to accept Sunrise Coal’s revised permit and is waiting for the coal company to submit its final revised application.
Beginning around 2009, Sunrise Coal began soliciting landowners for mineral rights to mine coal in southwestern Vermilion County, near Homer, Illinois. As people began to learn more about underground coal mining, concerned citizens began questioning how an underground room and pillar mine could affect the surrounding communities.
Sunrise Coal filed a permit application on July 30, 2014. By filing the permit application, Sunrise Coal believed its application was “complete and accurate,” and that the mine as proposed would comply with all requirements of federal and Illinois laws. Over 100 landowners, rural homeowners, and others spoke out at public hearings in 2014, questioning how the proposed coal mine could affect their drinking water, how it could impact the air they breathe, how it might affect the productivity of their farmland, and wondering what kind of regulations and oversight would ensure public safety.