This diagram from an Army Corps of Engineers permit application shows the proposed location of a coal ash storage facility in Washington County, Illinois.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, IL — “On June 26, the Washington County Board met behind closed doors with the lawyer from Prairie State and passed an amendment to an ordinance that granted the company permission to build a 720-acre coal ash landfill on flat farmland near the controversial Marissa, Illinois, plant.
The amendment allowed the company to bypass the normal zoning process, which would have involved public hearings, and negotiate a contract for the landfill with the county—all out of the public eye.
Critics of the company contend that the coal ash landfill jeopardizes air and water quality in the area. They say that it will add huge costs to a project that’s already $1 billion over budget. And they suspect Prairie State pressured Washington County into approving the landfill by threatening legal action if the county didn’t approve it.”
ST LOUIS, MO — “Patriot’s former parent company, Peabody Energy, will be more than an interested spectator during the case. Peabody has already disclosed that it may be responsible for payments to a fund for black lung disease victims “should Patriot not fund these obligations as they come due.”
Lawyers may look for other ways to tap Peabody’s deep pockets. When a spun-off company fails, creditors often accuse the former parent of fraud, charging that it didn’t fully disclose the liabilities it was off-loading on its offspring.
As a result of such actions, Monsanto had to assume environmental liabilities from Solutia, its former chemical subsidiary, and General Motors got stuck with some debts of its old Delphi auto parts business. Creditors of Tronox, a chemical company spun off from Kerr-McGee, are pursuing a suit over environmental liabilities.”
Public information meeting held Wednesday at company’s training center
At a public meeting on Wednesday, officials from Prairie State Generating Company respond to questions about the company's new monofill waste site.
STONE CHURCH, IL — “While the county board meeting drew a group of neighbors protesting the proposed waste site, Wednesday’s meeting attracted a large audience of residents curious about what impact the project will have on their land.
‘I just want to see what this is going to do to our area. I have 80 acres, and I want to know if this will have any effect on it. I’d like to know the effect on water wells,’ Norbert Zinck said.”
Galion Council listens to input from City Building Inspector Matt Ross.
GALION — “The tensest exchange of the evening came during the Finance Committee report, which was shared by Committee Chairwoman Roberta Wade. Wade began by telling Council that the requested analysis of electric rates made several weeks ago to Belinda Miller, local representative of the Ohio Auditor’s Office that provides oversight to Galion during its fiscal emergency, was not due to be completed until August. She also said that Miller was also unwilling to be involved in a community meeting setting until Council had a clearer understanding of Galion’s electrical rates and investment situation.
With that in mind, Wade then suggested that the next Finance Committee meeting be held as a ‘public meeting,’ with an invitation extended to Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director of Ohio Citizen Action, to enlighten Council and citizens on the City’s total electricity picture. According to Wade, the official has a ‘wealth of information’ to share on the subject.
At this point, Council President and Committee Member Gail Baldinger began questioning Wade about this course of action. He first inquired as to cost, to which Wade replied that Buchanan would appear at no cost. Baldinger then asked the reason for a ‘community meeting,’ and not simply a ‘public meeting,’ such as those regularly held by the Finance Committee. Wade shared that the two are actually a distinction without a difference, but that the Council room venue would likely be too small for such a meting.”
Residents invited to attend informational meeting in Venedy regarding project
Prairie State ad in Nashville News, July 11, 2012, page B1.
NASHVILLE, IL — “During the June special meeting, the board approved an agreement with Prairie State that would allow the company to create a coal combustion residual monofill site on a 720[acre tract of land west of the facility in exchange for financial compensation. Beginning in 2015, the company will pay the county $0.30 per ton of waste placed in the monofill, an amount that is anticipated to provide about $1 million annualy to Washington County over the life of the facility. Additionally, Prairie State will pay another $1 million spread out over four payments to the county.
…A group of residents living near Prairie State and the proposed monofill site attended the special meeting where the agreement was approved to protest the action. Board members commented that the county’s recourse to prevent the waste site was questionable while the agreement with Prairie State would at least generate revenue to benefit the citizens and infrastructure of the county.
Patriot Coal Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday as it deals with reduced demand for coal and rising costs.
NEW YORK, NY — “Patriot Coal Corp.’s bankruptcy may leave competing U.S. mining companies Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) and Arch (ACI) Coal Inc. liable for expenses related to Patriot operations they once owned.
Peabody, the largest U.S. coal producer ranked by sales, may be responsible for liabilities for the treatment of black lung disease that were assumed by Patriot when it was spun off from Peabody in 2007, according to a February filing. Peabody may be responsible for the liabilities, which are expected to be less than $150 million, should Patriot be unable to fund them, according to the filing.”
GALION, OH — “An effort by several Galion residents to obtain enough valid signatures to get the issue of abolishing the city’s charter that has been in place for 26 years has paid off.
…Council member Roberta Wade, who is head of the finance committee, said she will have a public meeting with speaker Sandy Buchanan from Ohio Citizens Action of Cleveland to answer questions the residents have regarding issues such as utility rates.”