The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comment until June 19 on its tentative determination to issue an NPDES water discharge permit to Knight Hawk Coal LLC for the American Eagle Portal of the Prairie Eagle deep mine in Perry County.
“The Applicant is applying for an Incidental Boundary Revision (IBR) at multiple locations of their new underground coal mine,” said an Illinois EPA notice. “The IBRs would add surface acreage to the permit area but would not result in any increases in underground coal mining and would not increase the amount of coal stockpile storage onsite.
“The proposed activity would allow the Applicant to relocate access to the permit area as required by the Illinois Department of Transportation, construct a collector ditch for drainage control, relocate the Top Area (buildings, parking, etc.), change the alignment and volume of Sediment Pond 006, and facilitate additional soil storage. The modifications on site would improve access to the permit area and allow for increased surface working areas which would facilitate a more efficient and productive mining operation. A comprehensive summary of the social and economic benefits of the coal mine was included in the Applicant’s document entitled Assessment of Alternatives for Minimal Environmental Degradation and Economic Benefit Analysis.”
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows the Prairie Eagle deep mine producing 853,789 tons of coal in the first quarter of this year, and 3.2 million tons in all of 2014. Knight Hawk Coal is co-owned by several parties, including Arch Coal and coal operator Jim Bunn.