The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

August 30, 2013

Mine is a risk to area


The Commercial-News

---- — Mine is a risk to area

Editor

As a lifelong Vermilion County resident, the Sunrise Coal controversy prompts me to write this letter. My family has lived and farmed in Vermilion County since the 1820s, settling first southeast of Westville, and then moving to the Collison area in the late 1940s. Both of my Westville grandfathers were coal miners, and one also farmed.

This lesson has been learned in my family: coal mining is a short-sighted use of the land, but properly cared for farmland and water will last forever.

Coal operators have a long history of walking away, once the easy money is gone. Then the local people are left to clean up mining’s legacy: polluted streams, subsidence, and in this case a depleted aquifer.

I understand (as does Sunrise Coal Co.) the city of Georgetown’s pressures regarding operating money. But, I’m suspicious, that if selling water is such a great deal, why does it have to be done on the sly with no public knowledge prior to the signing of the contract?

We have some of the best land and water in the world, why risk it for some outsider’s short term gain?

Mike Camp

Collison