CARLINVILLE, IL (WTAQ) - The owner of a company that plans to open an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin could soon face prosecution in Illinois for alleged environmental violations there.
The Illinois EPA told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it plans to ask the state’s attorney general this spring to prosecute Macoupin Energy.
Officials said the firm has not done enough to comply with a voluntary plan to clean up groundwater pollution at its Shay coal mine in Carlinville Illinois.
Macoupin is owned by Christopher Cline, the investor who owns Gogebic Taconite – which wants to build a $1.5 billion iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.
One of Macoupin’s parent firms did not comment on Wednesday’s development – but the firm’s CEO said it was, “surprised and frankly angered” to receive an initial notice of the reported environmental problems last December.
The Journal Sentinel reported on the Illinois case less than a day before the Wisconsin Assembly is about to consider amending environmental protections and speeding up the approval process for Gogebic’s project.
The mine’s supporters say it will create hundreds of jobs, and the water-rich Penokee region in the far north will not suffer environmental harm – but some of the project’s neighbors strongly disagree.