The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has approved an application from Gibson County Coal to extend a portal across the Wabash River into Illinois.
During a public hearing held in Mt. Carmel in May of 2016, Gibson County Coal officials explained their plan in which they intend to extend their portal from the Gibson North mine across the Wabash River into Illinois in areas adjacent to the north and east of the city limits and another to the south of Mt. Carmel.
In a ruling dated last Thursday, the DNR said the permit application calls for surface coal mining and reclamation operations on approximately 3,214 acres in Illinois and they found the expanded mining would not pose a threat to surface or groundwater in Illinois.
During the public hearing, company officials claimed there would be no mine subsidence in and around Mt. Carmel since a room and pillar method of mining is utilized. Since the coal mined in Illinois would be transferred underground and brought to surface in Gibson County, there would be no sales tax collected on the Illinois coal, thus not benefiting the state, county, or city in terms of sales tax.
DNR’s ruling was mailed via certified mail this week to those in attendance at the 2016 hearing that was held at Parkview Christian Church.