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Peabody Mine Closing Affects Environment, Local Economy

A mine in Southwestern Indiana stopped coal removal operations last week and has begun an environmental restoration process.

A mine in Knox County, in Southwestern  Indiana, is in the process of shutting down its operations. St. Louis based Peabody Energy Corporation owns the Air Quality mine, just east Vincennes.

At its peak 230 people worked here. The mine stopped coal removal operations last week and has begun a process of environmental restoration called reclamation.

Department of Natural Resources mine inspector Brad Loveless is overseeing the restoration. He holds the mine company accountable for making sure it complies with a restoration contract it agreed to more than 20 years ago.

“They’ve given us a map showing their post-mining land use   for every acre of this facility,” he says. “And they’ll be responsible for restoring it to that land use. If it’s crop land, we’ll monitor the production from that crop land – make sure it    makes as good as or better than pre-mining.”

The mine opened in 1991, and many local farmers have come to rely on income brought in by leasing their land to the coal company. In some cases those leases could continue for a few more years before they expire.

A Peabody spokesperson says the company is doing its best to re-locate the mineworkers to nearby facilities.

Jimmy Jenkins

Jimmy Jenkins is a multimedia journalist for WFIU and WTIU news. A native of Terre Haute, he is a masters student at the Indiana University School of Journalism and is proud to be a part of the public broadcasting stations he listened to and watched since he was a child. Follow him on Twitter @newsjunkyjimmy.

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  • http://www.enviroequipment.com/ EnviroEquipment.com

    Not sure if the closing of Peabody Mine is going to affect the environment so much as it’s going to devastate the local economy. Perhaps that should’ve been this article’s headline.

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