The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 17, 2013

Coal company determined to dig in

HOMER — It’s back to square one for an Indiana company that wants to locate a coal mine in southwestern Vermilion County.

Sunrise Coal LLC of Terre Haute, Ind., had its plans hit a snag earlier this week when Homer Village Board members reversed course on several months of talks and nixed a potential agreement to supply water and sewer services for the Bulldog underground coal mine.

The decision leaves Sunrise Coal looking at its other options, according to Suzanne Jaworowski, communications director for Sunrise Coal. She declined to comment on what those other options might be.

Despite terming the water as an “important resource” for the mine, Jaworowski said the Homer Village Board decision would not inhibit plans for the mine.

“It was unfortunate we could not reach a partnership,” Jaworowski said. “But this will not stop the project. We will continue to develop the coal mine.”

Sunrise still expects to be up and operating in 2014.

Jaworowski said Homer was to be the mine’s primary source in terms of sewer service and treated water. She added that any water source brought into future mine plans will meet state and federal regulations.

Finding another village to obtain water from could be difficult, looking at the area surrounding the proposed mine. Homer, with a population of around 1,200 people, was located just a mile from the northwest corner of the planned mine. The nearby towns of Fairmount, Sidell, Allerton and Broadlands are half that population size or less.

The villages near the mine that are most similar in size to Homer are Sidney (7 miles west), Philo (13 miles west) and Oakwood (13 miles northeast).

The mine is proposed to cover the southwestern corner of Vermilion County along and just off of the county line with Champaign County. The northernmost tip is along County Road 90E just south of the Catlin-Homer Road while the southern edge is just south of County Road 300N. The majority of the eastern side of the proposed mine runs along County Road 300E.

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