Illinois to Restore Abandoned Mine Lands with $75.7 Million Federal Grant


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Illinois has been awarded $75.7 million in federal funding to allow the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Division of IDNR restoration of abandoned mine sites throughout the state and ensure they are safe for residents and the environment.

The proposed mine reclamation projects include several in Will, Grundy, and Livingston counties, crucial for eliminating potential hazards and treating acid mine drainage. The proposed projects aim to prevent potential dam breaches, which could cause significant environmental damage and threaten the safety of local residents.

The public comment period is open until May 22, 2023, providing an opportunity for residents to voice their opinions and concerns about the proposed projects. Lance Range, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is accepting comments by email or mail.

The federal grant and collaborative efforts between IDNR and local communities are a step towards ensuring abandoned mine lands are not left neglected, and potential hazards are eliminated. The projects will not only restore the environment but also create job opportunities for the local communities.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is committed to addressing abandoned mine lands and ensuring they do not pose a threat to public health and safety. With the grant funding and collective efforts, Illinois is taking a significant step towards restoring abandoned mine lands and ensuring they are safe for generations to come.

Several mine reclamation projects have been proposed in Will, Grundy, and Livingston counties:

Grundy County

  • Wilmington Star Mine No. 7 – Reclaim the vertical opening.
  • Gardner and Wilmington Coal Co. No. 1 – This five-acre area contains a one-acre gob pile and a settled shaft. Reclaim to prevent hazardous conditions.
  • Will County Coal Co. – Reclamation of areas with a dangerous impoundment and dangerous highwall where revetment mat is failing to prevent possible dam breach.
  • Lake Tandem – Reclamation to correct a dangerous slide area and relocate a house.

Livington County

  • K W and B Group – Correct a vertical opening near a public road.

Will County

  • Murphy, Lindsky and Kasher No. 4 – Reclaim vertical openings and correct clogged stream lands to address flooded road and sinkholes.
  • Chicago Material, Wilmington and Vermilion – Cover gob material and correct vertical opening. This site is easily accessible within a town of more than 5,000 people and is considered a hazard.
  • Novy Highwall – Correct 1,900 feet of dangerous highwall along a public roadway.


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