|A smoldering underground fire at the Deer Run coal mine, background, has led owner Hillsboro Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Foresight Energy, to indefinitely shut down the southern Illinois facility near Hillsboro, Ill. The mine owner is asking state regulators to approve a 7,731-acre expansion that is opposed by some residents who fear it could jeopardize public health and cause environmental damage (AP Photo/Alan Scher Zagier)|
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The owner of a central Illinois coal mine where an underground fire has smoldered for the past year is seeking permission to seal the mine.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Foresight Energy on Tuesday asked the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration to close the Deer Run Mine near Hillsboro to cut off oxygen fueling the fire.
The St. Louis-based company says it has tried to fight the fire by sealing specific areas in the mine and filling them with extinguishing agents and inert gas.
Foresight is simultaneously seeking approval from Illinois regulators to expand the longwall mine into areas unaffected by the fire. The company ceased mine production in early January because of the elevated carbon monoxide levels below ground as well a depressed market.