Illinois Coal Mine Permitting Process Reforms (2014)
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Illinois AG sued and entered into settlement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requiring DNR to improve transparency and public participation in the coal permitting process.
Topics: Natural Resources, Energy
Type of action: Lawsuit v. Other Public Entity
States involved: Illinois
Summary: In 2007, the Illinois AG sued the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) over the issuance of a coal mining and reclamation permit in Fulton County, Illinois. The permit would have given the mining company right to operate within the Illinois River floodplain with possible impact on the surrounding natural areas and on local water supply. The AG complaint alleged that DNR had not followed administrative procedures and given adequate consideration to environmental and social concerns in issuing the permit.
The AG reached a settlement with the DNR in 2014. As part of the settlement, the DNR will institute a series of reforms in its permitting process that will allow for increased public participation and stronger environmental protection.