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October 10, 2012

MADIGAN: DOUGLAS COUNTY MINE OWNER CITED FOR AIR, WATER POLLUTION

Springfield — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today that a Douglas County mine operation has been cited for air and water pollution violations.

Alpena Vision Resources, LLC, a Michigan company, is licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Mines and Minerals to perform reclamation and carbon recovery activities at the mining site near U.S. Route 36. The Illinois EPA issued permits allowing the company to discharge mine drainage into a nearby tributary to Brushy Fork, but the agency imposed specific water quality standards for contaminants released into the water. Madigan’s complaint filed before the Illinois Pollution Control Board alleges the company’s discharges have created a water pollution hazard.

According to Madigan’s complaint, Alpena has allowed multiple waste streams to fill old slurry ponds with an assortment of coal combustion waste, coal combustion by-product and gypsum, which have caused excessive dust buildup. Additionally, Alpena allegedly has stockpiled and improperly handled sludge from the Urbana Champaign Sanitary District. The sludge piles have caused odor and pest issues in the surrounding area.

“The accumulation of waste in the mine’s old slurry ponds has created potentially hazardous conditions in the surrounding area,” Madigan said. “Our filing seeks to ensure the company is held accountable for its improper handling of sludge.”

The air pollution and water pollution counts carry a possible civil penalty of $50,000 and $10,000 per day while the violations persist.

Assistant Attorney General Michael Mankowski is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.

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