â€œIf you are thinking in the back of your mind that the regulators in Illinois will protect you, I can tell you that it hasnâ€™t happened.â€
Robert L. Johnson, P.E, Johnson Consulting
Speaking at an informational meeting June 28, 2010
Broadlands Immanuel Lutheran Church
While it is true that mining regulations and permits are often not enough to prevent coal mines from polluting in Illinois, familiarizing yourself with the permitting process for coal mines can be an effective way to protect yourself. For each permit a mine has to get, public input is required before the permit is sought. All citizens have a right to request a hearing or challenge a permit once a decision has been issues. This is your chance to make sure that the regulatory agencies take your concerns into account when issuing a permit for a new coal mine.
All coal mines in Illinois are required to have four permits. The permit to mine required by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) is issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines and Minerals. The other three required by the Clean Water Act (CWA), and include the NPDES water pollution permit issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; the 404 wetland destruction permit issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers; and the 401 certification issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.