Public comment sought on Illinois mine reclamation projects

Crews working at site of abandoned coal mine, the Horse Creek Mine, near Pinckneyville. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Dept. of Interiors)

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is accepting public comment through May 22 about the abandoned mine lands reclamation projects that have been selected for work through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

IDNR’s Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Division was awarded $75.7 million for land and water reclamation work at 55 abandoned mine sites throughout Illinois during the first year of the grant. IDNR is eligible to receive $75.7 million per year for a total of 15 years through IIJA to address additional reclamation projects.

The Abandoned Mine Land program addresses serious environmental and safety problems at coal and non-coal mines that were abandoned prior to Aug. 3, 1977.

States may use the federal grants to address coal abandoned mine land problems, including hazards resulting from legacy coal mining that pose a threat to public health, safety, and the environment; water supply restoration; and coal abandoned mine land emergencies.

Comments will be accepted until May 22, and can be emailed to or mailed to Lance Range, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Mines and Minerals, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield IL 62702.

Projects proposed for the first year of the grant include:

Bureau County

  • 1400 Ave. N. Sheffield Highwalls — Correction of a dangerous highwall to protect passing motorists.

Fulton County

  • Shields Chapel Cemetery Highwall — Correction of dangerous highwall and haul road to prevent the overflow of water and possible outwash of downstream land bridges.
  • Taylor Road Embankment — Reclamation of dangerous embankment to prevent vehicles from falling into the water-filled impoundment.
  • McKinley Road Embankments — Correct five dangerous embankments.

Gallatin County

  • Eagle Strip Area 2 — Correct dangerous piles or embankments, highwall, haul road, spoil area and pits to address human exposure and reduce possible injuries.

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.

Henry County

  • Galva Coal Co. — Reclamation of vertical opening to fill shafts correctly.

Knox County

  • Snakeden Hollow — Modifications to a dam are needed to accommodate water level fluctuations.
  • Sanchez Property — Dangerous slope and embankment will be addressed; site is located near a residential home.
  • Round House Dam — Reclamation of culverts to prevent future possible dam failure.
  • Hook and Bullet Club — Grading the barren waste areas to eliminate gullies and steep slopes, with acid mine drainage treatment.
  • Farmington Embankments — Reclamation of clogged stream, dangerous piles or embankments, and dangerous highwall to correct the extreme hazard to local farmers and residents.

LaSalle County

  • Worthington Mine — Reclaim vertical openings adjacent to residences.
  • Rutland Coal Co. — Reclaim vertical opening and debris; residential property abuts the north edge of the problem area.
  • LaSalle County Carbon Jones Mine — Reclamation of dangerous piles and embankments.
  • LaSalle Mine — Reclamation of vertical opening to prevent local youth from being injured.

Livington County

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

Macoupin County

  • Consolidated C.C. #15 — Treat the acid mine drainage with possible limestone drains. Acid mine drainage is impacting about a mile of unnamed tributary to Cahokia Creek.

An abandoned strip mine in Illinois. IDNR’s Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Division was awarded $75.7 million for land and water reclamation work at 55 abandoned mine sites throughout the state.

Marshall County

  • McKinley Kaer — Fill two portals close to town.

McDonough County

  • Argyle Lake State Park Drift — Reclaim the portal; the drift is just 30 feet from a park road and adjacent to a display, where visitation is quite high.
  • Colchester West — Reclaim vertical openings and gob material, which is releasing acid mine drainage and sedimentation.

Menard County

  • Lloyd Mine — Reclaim both vertical openings and remove hazardous buildings.

Montgomery County

  • Freeman Coal Co. Crown #1 — Treat 58 gallons per minute of acid mine drainage.
  • Litchfield Mine — Seal a vertical opening and a former well. These problems are located near a public golf course.

Peoria County

  • Midland Coal Co. Elm Mine — Culverts in this area may be increased and flare collars installed to help control runoff.
  • 17308 W. Cottonwood Road — Reclamation of 200 linear feet of dangerous highwall to protect area motorists.

Perry County

  • Coconut Road Bridge (Burning Star No. 2) — Correct dangerous slopes to protect passing motorists.

Saline County

  • Thurmond Coal Co. Colbert Mine — Reclamation to correct 1,000 feet of highwall.
  • Jones Cemetery Highwall — Reclamation of dangerous piles or embankments and dangerous highwall due to proximity to a church.
  • Diversified Minerals Inc. — Correction of a 4,000-foot-long, 10-foot average height longwall to prevent possible accidents.

Sangamon County

  • Happy Hollow Mining Co. — Vertical opening will be sealed to prevent possible human exposure.

Schuyler County

  • Peabody Key Strip — Five sections of highwall to be reclaimed to remediate dangerous piles or embankments.

Stark County

  • Allendale Mine — Reclamation of dangerous highwall and piles or embankments will correct areas of 12-foot and 25-foot vertical drop near the road.

St. Clair County

  • Peabody Green Diamond — Acid mine drainage, clogged stream lands. Work will fix the drainage pathway.
  • Trenton West — Correction of vertical openings is needed.
  • O.K. Mine —Reclamation will correct drainage from this area and reclaim the openings.
  • Douglas Road Embankment — Dangerous piles or embankments will be corrected due to a 235-linear-foot section that reaches to within 10 feet of a road.
  • Floraville Road Embankment — The steepness of a ditch and the low height of a guardrail will be addressed to deal with dangerous piles or embankments.
  • Mascoutah #2 — A mine opening and hazardous equipment or facilities will be reclaimed to prevent attracting local youths.

Tazewell County

  • Lake Erie Mining – Reclamation of vertical mine opening, gob material, and equipment or facility to prevent possible injuries to local youth exploring the area.

Vermilion County

  • Brookville Mined Area — Address vertical opening, dangerous piles or embankments, which pose a potential threat to the public.
  • Ayrshire Harmattan — Reclamation of a dangerous highwall.
  • Harmattan Mine West — Correct dangerous piles or embankments.
  • Nelson and Son Mine — Correct reclamation of vertical openings to protect residents.
  • Brookside No. 4 — Reclamation of vertical opening, equipment or facility to prevent local youths from entering the mineworks.

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.

Williamson County

  • Prosperity Strip Mine Revision — Reclamation of spoil area, industrial or residential water problems, or dangerous piles; embankments or dangerous highwall. This work will correct problems with the vertical opening and prevent human hazards with the site.
  • Delta North Phase IV — Reclamation of water problems, spoil area, pits, haul road, and hazardous water body to correct acid mine drainage.
  • Delta Shady Rest — Reclamation of dangerous highwalls of 5,000 and 7,000 feet.
  • Peabody Will Scarlet Pit 7 and 8 — Reclamation of gob material to prevent clogged drainage and possible fires from exposed materials.

The list of first-year projects is also available online at

For more information about abandoned mine lands reclamation in Illinois, visit