Residents of Rocky Branch complained they would be experiencing undue burdens once the Peabody Cottage Grove Mine moved south toward their community.
The strip mine has been at work in that area in recent months and residents say life is becoming problematic.
Stephen Karns of Rocky Branch appeared at the Saline County Board meeting on Oct. 23 to report that contractors working with Peabody Energy were breaking water mains to area residents homes, causing electric outages and seem to be unconcerned about the suffering it was causing for residents.
“They acted like they felt, ‘If we break it, we break it,’” said Karns at the Thursday meeting.
Tuesday Karns pointed out a drainage ditch that runs into Hoopole Creek from the new mine.
“The IEPA (Illinois Environmental Protection Agency) is going to do further testing on that water. The EPA (federal Environmental Protection Agency) said the discharge was legal. It runs into a settlement pond on Peabody property,” Karns said.
Karns is concerned for wildlife if the water is carries pollutants.
“American bald eagles fish out of Hoopole Creek. Glenn Kellen saw an eagle roosting by the creek yesterday,” said Karns.
Charlene Murdock, Director of Community Relations for Peabody Energy released the following statement: “We value safety and integrity as operating practices. Cottage Grove strives to ensure all contractors and vendors perform their work for Peabody using the same high standards.”