To the Editor:
I would like to add my comments to the chorus regarding Pond Creek Mine.
We, the people of Southern Illinois, participated in democracy when we came out on a cold night just before Christmas to speak at a public hearing held by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
There were more than a hundred of us, with varied voices sharing the specifics of concerns on the same topic.
We included farmers who are concerned about flooding leaving residue on fields. We included fisherman concerned about the poisoning of fish and the people who eat them. We included people who moved to this area as adults and people who have lived here all their lives. We included people who boat on the river, swim in the river and live on the river.
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We, the people of Southern Illinois, shared the same request: Please do not allow Williamson Energy, LLC, to pour waste water from their mining operation into the Big Muddy River.
Please do not allow a mining company with a long history of environmental violations to self-monitor the dumping of “acid and alkaline mine drainage” into the Big Muddy River.
Please do not allow a mining company that may go bankrupt and disappear to degrade our land and our water forever.
Please do not allow the mining company to add toxic chemical waste to the Big Muddy River, with all the resultant impacts on the environment, because this is where we, the people of Southern Illinois, boat, fish, farm and live.