Communities need to know how a coal mine might affect them
Opening a coal mine can lead to changes for a community. Some of those changes occur immediately, and some over years and generations. What might those changes be, and will they be for the better or the worse? How can our community best position and protect itself? And how can we as landowners make sound decisions when we lack basic information about how a proposed mine will affect our community?
The Prairie Rivers Network submitted a list of questions to Sunrise Coal LLC on behalf of Stand Up To Coal on October 8, 2010. The purpose of these questions was to find out, on behalf of our communities, the known details about Sunrise’s plans for the mine it proposes. Particularly, we want to learn the specifics of the coal mining and washing proposal, and the implications for water usage as well as the potential for contaminating our drinking water.
Stand Up To Coal and the Prairie Rivers Network met with representatives of Sunrise Coal LLC on February 15th, 2011. During the course of the meeting, several answers to the following questions were provided. A summary of those responses is forthcoming – please check back soon.
If Sunrise Coal, LLC were to mine in Allerton, Broadlands, Fairmount, Homer, Sidell area,
1. How many acres would be in the permit area for the mine?
2. How many acres would be in the shadow area (where the coal is mined out from underground) for the mine?
3. What kind of mining would be done?
4. Where would the surface facilities be located?
5. Would there be a coal processing plant at the site?
6. Would coal be washed at the site?
7. Where would water for the mine come from?
8. How much water per day does the mine anticipate it might need?
9. Where would the coal slurry waste from washing the coal go?
10. What kind of coal slurry waste facility would be at the site?
11. If it were an above ground dam impoundment, how high would it be?
12. How many acres in size would the coal slurry waste area be?
13. Would this coal waste area have an underground liner?
14. Would sediment collection ponds at the site have underground liners?
15. Would the liners be clay or what would they be made of?
16. How many sediment ponds would there be?
17. Would any streams be impounded for the mine?
18. Would any blasting be done at the mine?
19. Does the mine company own all the coal rights for the area in the mine?
20. Does the mine company own any surface subsidence rights for the mine area?
21. Is the mine company in the process of obtaining surface subsidence rights?
22. What roads would be used to reach the mine?
23. How would coal be hauled from the mine?
24. Where would the coal from this mine be used?
25. Would any of this coal be shipped outside of the U.S.?
26. Would this be a Union worker mine? Why/Why not?
27. Have there ever been any penalties for violating permits or environmental laws by this company?
28. How long would this mine be in operation?
29. When do you expect to file a mine permit application with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines and Minerals?
30. Would the coal company be buying farmland in this area?
31. How much land does the company plan to buy?
32. How much would this mine cost to build?
33. Are any state or federal funds being requested for this mine?
34. Where would the office for this mine be located?
35. Where would the mine management staff come from?
36. As of October 2010, how many acres of exploratory rights has Sunrise Coal procured in Vermillion County? How many acres of coal lease rights?
37. As of October 2010, how many acres of exploratory rights has Sunrise Coal procured in Champaign County? How many acres of coal lease rights?
38. If the room and pillar mining technique would be employed and based on the geological strata explored to date, how long is the interval likely to be between mining and the onset of subsidence?
39. Would Sunrise Coal LLC of Indiana be paying sales tax in Illinois on the coal proposed to be mined in Illinois?
40. Coal is dirty yet poses no threat to human health if left in the ground. How would Sunrise Coal protect residents from the various health risks associated with the mining and washing of coal?
41. Sunrise Coal’s Allerton Coal Lease proposes to share 4% royalty with the landowners who own the coal. What is Sunrise Coal’s annual return on its capital investment (ROI)? Please provide documentation as available.