The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is taking comment until Feb. 6 on a draft NPDES water permit approval for Knight Hawk Coal LLC covering changes at the Red Hawk surface mine in Perry and Jackson counties.
Public comments are invited on the following proposed modifications incorporated into this permit renewal:
- Transfer 187.3 acres from Springfield Coal Co. LLC to Knight Hawk Coal LLC;
- Addition of 20 acres to permit area for expansion of mining and mining related activities; and
- Change in operations plan to direct affected area drainage that was to report to Sediment Pond 008 to Sediment Pond 007.
Said a Jan. 7 Illinois EPA notice: “[T]he proposed activity would allow the surface mine to continue extraction of coal resources at the site, which would preserve 43 direct and indirect jobs with a total annual payroll and benefits package of approximately $6.0 million and would allow for continued ancillary benefits provided to the local and regional economy.”
Knight Hawk Coal is co-owned by parties like Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) and coal operator Jim Bunn. U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that the Red Hawk mine produced 284,746 tons in the first three quarters of 2014 and 539,118 tons in all of 2013.