More strip mines move to Saline County


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

SALINE COUNTY, Ill. - More strip mines are showing up in Saline County, Illinois

Residents in Cottage Township have been confronted by Peabody Coal Company and told that the land just across the street from them will soon be blasted away and mined.

Allan Porter is one of those residents.

He has spent his mornings on his porch for more than 30 years.

"When you get older you start talking a lot about what you've seen and how you've been blessed over the years," said Porter.

Now, just 500 feet from his property line there is talk of a strip mine.

He has seen some fellow community members go through this before.

A few months back Local 6 spoke with Chris Schimp about how mining outside his home affected his property value and his family's health.

Schimp's main complain was the silica dust.

"And my house has disappeared in that yellow muck," said Schimp.

Porter is just as concerned about the dust.

"And I've asked the question, is that dust toxic or non-toxic, and nobody wants to answer that question," said Porter.

We reached out to Peabody Coal with Porter's concerns and they responded with this statement.

"Cottage Grove has 200 employees, and we are your neighbors. We are committed to ensuring this is a thriving and safe community. In fact, our greatest priority is the safety of those who live and work here. We pride ourselves on good neighbor practices, and we will continue our diligence in this area--all while creating jobs and growth in Saline County."

Porter says he will fight this to the end to save his house, his property and his way of life.

"They don't have a right to buy land and move in close to me and destroy the property that I have."

A Saline County board meeting is being held Thursday eveing to discuss the blasting in the Cottage Township

It is unclear whether there will be a representative from Peabody Coal there.