Illinois DNR says it's nearing decision on permit for proposed coal mine in Vermilion County

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ALLERTON, Illinois — The state Department of Natural Resources says it is nearing a decision on a mining permit sought by an Indiana company that wants to build a new coal mine in eastern Illinois.

Sunrise Coal of Carlisle, Indiana is seeking DNR approval for its Bulldog Mine near the village of Allerton in Champaign and Vermilion counties. The company submitted its application in June 2012.

The company says the mine would generate 300 jobs paying an average of $76,000 annually. Environmental groups opposed to the project cite potential threats to water quality and the region's fertile farmland.

The DNR had expected to announce its decision on Friday. An agency spokesman says an announcement is now likely by the end of next week.

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