Madigan says Alpena polluted water

Bryan Cohen Oct. 11, 2012, 1:00pm


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Wednesday that a Douglas County mining operation received citations for alleged water and air pollution violations.

The Michigan-based Alpena Vision Resources LLC is licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Office of Mines and Minerals to engage in reclamation and carbon recovery activities at a mining site near U.S. Route 36.

The permits issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency allow the company to discharge drainage from the mine into a nearby Brushy Fork tributary, with specific water quality standards imposed for contaminants discharged into the water.

Alpena allegedly allowed multiple waste streams to fill old slurry ponds with a combination of coal combustion by-product, gypsum and coal combustion waste that caused an excessive buildup of dust. Alpena also allegedly improperly handled and stockpiled sludge from the Urbana Champaign Sanitary district.

Madigan alleged that the discharges by the company led to a water pollution hazard and filed the complaint before the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

"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 alleged water and air pollution violations could cost Alpena a civil penalty of $50,000 and $10,000 for each day the violations continue.

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