READ THE LEAD: Turmoil brewing in Cottage Grove TownshipPosted by Jack Howser on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 @ 12:10 pm.
One of the biggest articles appearing in this current print edition (December ’13/January ’14) in terms of both impact and sheer volume is regarding the expansion of a Peabody mine in Saline County.
The residents of Cottage Grove Township attended a hearing held at Southeastern Illinois College outside of Harrisburg just a few weeks ago and took the opportunity to voice what their fears were over the proposed mine expansion. Armed with statistics, photos and personal experiences with the current mining situation, their heartfelt pleas to representatives from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and Peabody seemed to fall on deaf ears, however.
And the inability of representatives to answer pointed questions posed by our correspondent was nothing less than shocking…but par for the course under the circumstances, wherein big ventures will roll over the little guy with no thought to the consequences.
Other media DID NOT cover the Q & A that went on at the end of the session, only because it was our correspondent who was asking the questions…so if that’s the only coverage you read, you’re left out. So why not give a look at this next Read the Lead, “Mine expansion hearing turns explosive,” and see what you missed out on with other “coverage”:
SALINE CO. – A large number of people from all across the county were on hand at a public hearing held by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources regarding potential closure of Rocky Branch Road by Peabody Energy for the Cottage Grove Mine on Wednesday, December 11, at Southeastern Illinois College outside of Harrisburg.
At the meeting, a wide variety of people stood up to speak their minds to the board of the IDNR, and issue their pleas to prevent the closure of Rocky Branch Road under proposal 428.
The large number present were addressed by Tim Devardo, who is a member of the IDNR panel and a mine engineer, and was acting as one of the voices of the panel. Devardo stated at the beginning of the meeting that the hearing was being held so the public’s voices would be heard on the matter of the road closure, and would be considered in the processing of the application that Peabody had submitted for the closure. The IDNR, according to Devardo, would be keeping a verbatim transcript of the meeting, and the record was to be held open for 10 days (December 23, 2013), during which time anyone with further comments or evidence could submit them and would be recorded in the transcript. After the land reclamation panel had reviewed all comments and evidence brought forward, the application for the road closure would be approved, denied, or sent a letter with further questions which would be required before the application would be processed. Peabody Energy would have one year to answer those questions, or the application would be denied.
Devardo then introduced the panel representing the IDNR as Scott Fowler, the division supervisor; Gary Downen, a land reclamation specialist; Jim Bowling, an environmental protection engineer; and Clay Kolar, a natural resource specialist.
Scott Fowler took the floor to make the opening remarks, stating that all of the questions that the speakers had would be written down and answered at the end of the meeting. This was to facilitate all of the speakers, and to allow time for everyone present to speak.
Fowler then explained where the application currently was in the administrative process. Fowler stated that the application was at that time considered to be “Administratively Complete.” This simply meant that all of the necessary paperwork had been filled out and submitted. The technical review was not complete, and the public’s comments during the meeting were to help the IDNR to make a sound choice on this application.
“We don’t live here,” Fowler said, “so we are asking you to give us your comments on the application itself.”
To find out what happened next, just click this link if you’re an e-Edition member, or follow the prompts if you’re new to the online version. Or, check the vendors list here to pick up your copy of the newest print version, which is only on stands for about ten more days…don’t miss out! You can pick up a copy of the December ’13/January ’14 of Disclosure at J&J’s Drive-Thru, Book Emporium, both locations of ROC One-Stop (Poplar Street and Commercial Drive) and our new vendor, Discount Food Mart, all in Harrisburg; both locations of ROC One-Stop in Eldorado as well as College Drive Liquor; and Galatia’s and Carrier Mills’ ROC One-Stop locations!
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