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State

Opponents of Illinois mine hope to stop permit

HOMER – Opponents of a coal mine proposed for eastern Illinois are trying to muster opposition as state regulators consider whether to grant the operation a permit.

Sue Smith is a landowner in the Homer area and an opponent of Sunrise Coal's plan to open a mine near town. She tells The News-Gazette in Champaign (http://bit.ly/1ttVVoe ) hopes people use the current public comment period to tell the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about their opposition.

The department's decision on the permit is the final step before Sunrise could open the mine. Homer is about 20 miles east of Champaign.

Opponents worry runoff from the mine could pollute the Salt Fork River.

Terre Haute, Indiana.-based Sunrise Coal says the mine would be heavily regulated and would bring an economic boost to the area.

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