HILLSBORO, Ill. (AP) – Some central Illinois residents are asking state regulators to reject a proposed expansion of a coal mine where an underground fire has smoldered for nearly a year.
Opponents of Foresight Energy’s planned Deer Run Mine expansion testified at a Thursday public hearing in Hillsboro that the company’s inability to quell the ongoing fire should lead the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to reject the request.
Foresight ceased mine production in early January in part because of the elevated carbon monoxide levels below ground.
The company has applied for a 7,731-acre expansion into areas unaffected by the fire.
Deer Run operates as a longwall mine under a process that allows for greater coal extraction but also weakens surface land used by farmers.