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July 22, 2014 
Chris Young 
Abandoned Mine Lands Funds to Bring Drinking Water Supply to 56 Homes near Belleville 
Water was negatively affected by past mining activities 
BELLEVILLE, IL – The Concordia Water Cooperative (CWC) will join with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a new water supply partnership project at 11 a.m. Friday, July 25. The event will be held at the Concordia UCC Church, 7600 State Route 163, just west of Belleville.
The IDNR Office of Mines & Minerals Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Division has signed a contract with the non-profit CWC to use federal AML funds to reimburse the Cooperative for up to $731,235.51 in construction costs needed to bring a drinking water supply to 56 homes in an area negatively affected by past mining activities.

An IDNR investigation of the mining history and water quality of a portion of St. Clair County just southwest of Belleville has determined the ground and surface water in a three square mile area have been negatively impacted by abandoned mining activities conducted from 1939 to 1950.  Since 56 homes in the affected area have no public water supply, federal AML funds are available to the State to provide potable water supply to replace the mining impacted water. 

The CWC has been working for five years on a $2.6 million project to install 30 miles of potable water main with service connections to 180 homes in a larger area of Stookey and Millstadt Townships. The IDNR will partner with the CWC and use federal AML funds to help build the portion of the project that will provide drinking water to the residents in the mining impacted area.

Funding for the project also comes from local user tap-on fees and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan funding. IDNR AML funds are derived from fees collected from the coal industry by the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining.
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