Illinois Attorney General files complaint against coal producer

The Illinois Attorney General filed an Oct. 4 complaint against waste coal producer Alpena Vision Resources LLC at the Illinois Pollution Control Board that alleges violations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act at the Murdock coal mine site in Douglas County.

Alpena Vision Resources is a Michigan company that has been permitted by state agencies to recover waste coal from the Murdock site (a practice called carbon recovery) and to bury waste materials, including lime sludge from wastewater treatment plants, to neutralize acid mine drainage from the site and otherwise aid in site reclamation.

Since at least 2007, Alpena has caused or allowed discharge of contaminants from the Murdock site to an unnamed tributary to Brushy Fork so as to cause or tend to cause water pollution in Illinois, either alone or in combination with matter from other sources, the Oct. 4 complaint said. Alpena has also caused or allowed discharge of effluent containing solids, floating debris, visible scum and obvious turbidity from the Murdock site to the unnamed tributary to Brushy Fork, the complaint added.

In the part of the complaint filed under the Clean Air Act, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said that since assuming responsibility for the reclamation of the Murdock site, Alpena has caused or allowed various waste materials to be deposited upon the site, and has caused or allowed the emissions of dust and malodors through its storage, handling, disposal and usage of such wastes.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration database classifies the Murdock site as “temporarily idled,” with the mine listed under Alpena since 2007 and before that under various companies, including Old Ben Coal and Zeigler Coal.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.