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Canton Mine Moves Forward

Canton Area Citizens for Environmental Issues

After some changes, a proposed mine near Canton, Illinois is moving forward after making several changes to its permit.The Illinois DNR renewed the proposed North Canton mine’s permit, even though it partially denied the original permit.

In the agency's view since part of the permit was upheld, the mine still had a valid permit that could be renewed.

Traci Barkley, a Water Resource Scientist with the Prairie Rivers Network, said her group disagrees. She contended that since a portion of the permit was struck down, there mine doesn't have a valid permit to be renewed.

Recently DNR held a meeting to review one change to the permit, and the mining company made another without public review.

She said that for those concerned about the mine, it’s a very confusing process.

"They see in the newspaper that there's a hearing  coming up and its hugely confusing to them because they just have gone through an informal conference in March and a public hearing in April and the notice doesn't really show for them what the new operations plan is, what the new map looks like. You never at any point get to see what the entire permit that's up for review by the public looks like," Barkley said.

Barkley said that her group still views the original permit that’s being renewed as invalid, since part of it was denied.

She added that right now the mining plans sent to the EPA and the DNR are not the same, and that the two agencies don’t talk to each other enough to make sure they match.

Scott Stuntz is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.