SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX/IRN –A report in 1974 started that Illinois had more than 172,000 acres, in 40 Illinois counties impacted by strip mining. St. Clair County alone had 13,378 acres under the shovel.
Now 37 years later, Illinois is getting 24 million dollars to fix up old, used-up mines. The job of fixing up old, used-up mines is an expensive one.
The state’s Department of Natural Resources is announcing a grant from the U. S. Department of the Interior for the Abandoned Mine Lands program within the DNR’s Office of Mines and Minerals.
Program director Greg Pinto says mining companies themselves are responsible for land reclamation – only for mines which have been shut down since 1977. He adds that some of the grant money could go toward demolishing what is left of the Benld school heavily damaged by mine subsidence a few years ago.