Shay Mine No. 1

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Shay Mine No. 1 formerly Monterey Mine No. 1 is an underground mine 5 miles south of Carlinville, Illinois, using the longwall mining method. It was owned by Monterey Coal Company, a division of Exxon Coal USA, Inc. [1] In 2009 ExxonMobil sold the mine to Macoupin Energy LLC, part of the Cline Group, owned by Chris Cline, which also owns Hillsboro Energy and has mines elsewhere in Illinois and West Virginia. Monterey was ExxonMobil’s last active coal mine.[2]

Between 2004 and 2009, through various companies, bought or gained control of more than 3 billion tons of coal in southern and central Illinois. Cline’s companies have made tens of thousands of dollars in donations to Illinois politicians. The biggest beneficiary has been Gov. Pat Quinn, who has received $61,000 since October of 2009, according to reports made to the Illinois State Board of Elections.[3]

In 2009, Cline's Macoupin Energy told the Department of Natural Resources that it expects to generate 750,000 tons of coal slurry a year at full production at Shay Mine 1, and asked for permission to inject the waste into the ground. Coal slurry is a byproduct of washing coal, and can contain arsenic, heavy metals, and other pollutants. Millions of gallons of slurry from past mining operations are already onsite at the mine, contained in a massive impoundment with walls more than 700 feet high. The mine owner made the request as a proposed insignificant permit revision, meaning no hearing or public notification would be required. The request is pending.The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) categorizes slurry injection wells as the sort used to get rid of non-hazardous waste, and thus no IEPA permit is required before operations begin.[3]

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Mine Data

  • Owner: Macoupin Energy
  • Parent company: Cline Group
  • Location: 14300 Brushy Mound Road, Carlinville, IL
  • GPS coordinates: 39.26552, -89.884086
  • Production: 2.1 million tons (2007), 3 million by 2011
  • Type of coal: Bituminous
  • Mine type: Underground
  • Equipment: Longwall
  • Number of employees: 70 (2007)

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External Links

  • John Lippert and Mario Parker, "New King Coal," Bloomberg Markets Magazine, October 12, 2010

References

  1. "Monterey Mine No.1" Union Pacific Corporation Website, November 2009
  2. John L. Lewis, "ExxonMobil sells Monterey coal mine – Will new owners keep the Union?" Union News, January 27, 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bruce Rushton, "Activists raise concerns about coal mine slurry injection in Illinois" July 18, 2010.