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Print

More speak against Banner mine project

August 22, 2008 at 06:47 AM

of GateHouse News Service

SPRINGFIELD — An aide to Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and an ex-Peoria mayor added their names today to the list of people who told a state hearing officer why they oppose a proposed strip-mining operation in Fulton County.

The comments from Marc Miller, Quinn’s aide, and former Peoria Mayor Bud Grieves came during the fifth day of an administrative hearing about Capital Resources Development Co.’s planned mining project near Banner.

Quinn doesn’t oppose mining but thinks the Banner site is inappropriate for the strip-mining operation because it would threaten wildlife habitat and water quality, Miller said.

Grieves, who lives in the area and has developed a restaurant and motel in Banner, thinks the best way to promote development in the area is through eco-tourism and a scenic byway. The proposed mining project would discourage that type of development, he said.

Another area resident, Levern Yeske, also testified about the benefits of the scenic highway on U.S. Route 24.

“I don’t see where a mine can add any value to a scenic highway whatsoever,” Yeske said.

After listening to further testimony and reviewing other evidence, hearing officer Michael O’Hara eventually is expected to settle the question of whether the Illinois Department of Natural Resources should have granted a permit for the project. Opponents say the permit should not have been issued.

But when the matter will be resolved is unclear. Testimony in the hearing resumes at 9 a.m. Friday, and hearing dates also have been scheduled for Aug. 28 and 29. A decision won’t come until sometime after the hearings conclude.

Opponents to the strip-mining operation could wrap up their testimony today. If so, then attorneys for Capital Resources Development and the Department of Natural Resources will start calling their own witnesses to testify on behalf of the project.

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This just pisses me off, and I really don’t have anything else to say about it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/23 at 02:14 PM

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