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Southern IL coal mine sued for use of 'toxic' foam on fire

Southern IL coal mine sued for use of 'toxic' foam on fire
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By The Associated Press
Jan. 14, 2022 | BENTON, IL
By The Associated Press Jan. 14, 2022 | 09:55 AM | BENTON, IL
The Illinois attorney general is accusing a southern Illinois coal mine operator of polluting the area with what he claims is toxic foam to try to stop an underground fire.

Kwame Raoul’s lawsuit in Franklin County alleges that the Sugar Camp mine in August used firefighting foam containing PFAS compounds. There was no immediate comment from the owner, Foresight Energy.

“Exposure to such chemicals can cause long-lasting damage to the environment and poses a serious risk to public health,” Raoul said.

The compounds are called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment or the human body and can accumulate over time. They have been linked to a variety of health problems.

State environmental regulators received complaints about foam in a farm ditch and a tributary to Akin Creek near the mine located between Benton and McLeansboro.

The mine’s wastewater permit doesn’t allow it to discharge PFAS, the state said.

 
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