Freeman United Coal Mining Company
Freeman United Coal Mining Company in Springfield, IL is a private company categorized under Coal Mining Exploration and Test Boring. It was established in 1992 and incorporated in Illinois.
Industry Mine is a surface strip mine in McDonough County, Illinois, owned by Freeman United Coal Mining Company until 2007, and then Springfield Coal. Industry Mine is near the La Moine River, and has had 300 water-related permit violations over a five-year period.
Clean Water Act violations
On December 11, 2009, the Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center filed a notice of intent to sue Freeman United Coal Mining Company, regarding repeated and excessive violations of the Clean Water Act at their strip mine near Industry. The group found that Freeman had over 300 documented exceedances of their NPDES permit at the mine since July, 2003. Joyce Blumenshine of the Illinois Sierra Club said: "According to Freeman Coal's own reports, the Industry mine has broken the law hundreds of times in the last five years, with over sixty violations through August of this year. If every one of those violations were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, Freeman Coal would be forced to pay several million dollars in fines. Our goal is to see them comply with the law and operate the mine in a responsible way that is safe for local residents."
In May 2010, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a complaint against Freeman United and Springfield Coal with the Illinois Pollution Control Board after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency referred the mine’s water permit violations for enforcement action. The complaint states that both Freeman United and Springfield Coal “caused or allowed the discharge from the Industry Mine of iron, manganese, sulfates” for over five years in excess of permit limitations into various area waterways, including Willow and Grindstone creeks.
In October 2010, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) made a tentative determination to issue an NPDES permit to discharge into waters of the state and has prepared a draft permit and associated fact sheet for Springfield Coal.
Proposed coal mines
Freeman United Coal Mining Company would be the coal operator for the proposed North Canton Mine in Fulton, Illinois, near Canton Lake - a drinking water source for 20,000 residents. The Illinois EPA has issued a draft NPDES Water Discharge Permit and Water Quality Certification for the North Canton Mine.
Freeman United Coal Mining Company
4440 Ash Grove Drive # A
Springfield, IL 62711-6423
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- "Freeman Coal" Manta, accessed November 2011.
- Sarah Hodgdon, "The Fight is on to Stop Coal's Expansion Into Illinois" Treehugger, Aug. 26, 2011.
- Jeff Biggers, "300 Clean Water Act Violations! Illinois Citizens File Notice to Sue Reckless Coal Strip Mine" HuffPo, Dec. 11, 2009.
- Erin McCarthy, "State files mine suit" The McDonough County Voice, Feb. 18, 2010.
- "NPDES Permit No. IL0061247" Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, October 13, 2010.
- Jeff Biggers, "Canton Lake Debacle: Gov. Quinn, Do You Know Your IEPA Might Permit the State's Most Destructive and Reckless Strip Mine?" HuffPo, Nov. 18, 2011.
- Report Cites Potential Damage to Chuitna River http://media.aprn.org/2009/ann-20090819.mp3
- Facing the Specter of Alaska’s ‘New Coal Rush’ http://community.adn.com/adn/node/143467
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