Coal, New Projects

TVA seeking public input on expansion of coal reserves

(Photo of Sugar Camp. Credit: Foresight Energy)

The Tennessee Valley Authority is seeking public input about the proposed expansion of its coal reserves in Illinois.

The Sugar Camp Energy’s proposed expansion would include more than 12,000 acres of TVA-owned coal reserves in Hamilton and Franklin counties. TVA does not purchase the coal mined from Sugar Camp, but does receive royalty payments.

TVA intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to consider the potential impacts of various alternatives. The first step in that process is to request public input on any other potential alternatives that should be considered in the EIS.

Current alternatives are to approve Sugar Camp’s application for mining the additional reserves, or to take no action. Documents related to this scoping activity can be found online at www.tva.com/nepa.

The proposal is to allow underground mining of the coal reserves, which would include installation of ventilation shafts, resulting in both underground and surface impacts. The EIS will consider those impacts, as well as safety concerns, and potential socioeconomic and environmental justice issues.

Sugar Camp is owned by Foresight Energy. Mining operations produced 14.5 million tons last  year and contains an estimated 1.3 billion tons, according to reports.