Illinois DNR To Increase Coal Ash Pond Inspections

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says it’s increasing oversight of coal ash ponds because of high-profile accidents in other states.

DNR Director Marc Millers said Thursday that and other changes represent “significant” reforms to the agency’s Office of Mines and Minerals. The agency has come under fire from environmentalists and residents for what they consider lax oversight.

The DNR will visually inspect all coal ash impoundments for structural integrity.

The agency also will appoint a lawyer to focus on mining and wants to add two members of the public to boards that oversee mining and oil and gas activities. It’ll also collect more information for oil and gas permits.

The DNR earlier this week agreed do a better job of involving the public in decisions about coal mining permits.

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