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PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled a coal fired energy plant outside Peoria has allowed too much soot to be emitted from its smoke stacks.

U.S. District Judge Joe B. McDade wrote in a Tuesday order that Illinois Power Resources Generating LLC must work to clean emissions from the E.D. Edwards power plant.

The Sierra Club and other groups filed the lawsuit in 2013. They alleged the plant then owned by Ameren Illinois violated the Clean Air Act. IPRG acquired the plant after the lawsuit was filed. 

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The nuclear, coal and renewable-energy industries find themselves vying for the attention of Illinois lawmakers this legislative session.  

Lawmakers are trying to work on the state budget impasse, but energy providers hope they will focus on legislation to deal with Illinois' long-term power needs before the scheduled May 31 adjournment. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports that all three industries back measures that they say are vital to the state's energy future and economy.

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Members of the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance and Illinois People’s Action are renewing their call for environmental justice and a transition to clean energy in the greater Peoria area.  

Dynegy recently announced plans to shut down five units split between its Baldwin and Newton Plants.

Tracey Fox is with the Health Communities Alliance. She says burning less coal is a step forward for the state. But Fox says  the economics used to decide the plant closures was one-sided in the fact that they are also some of the least polluting.

Downstate legislators are banding together in an effort to revive the market for Illinois coal.  It comes as the renewable and nuclear industries are asking for legislative intervention.

A Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate is taking issue with the president's Clean Power Plan.  Andrea Zopp is not a global warming denier.

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MARION, Ill. (AP) - A 20-year-old man has died in an underground mining accident in Franklin County.

Tyler D. Rath was killed in the accident late Tuesday at a mine owned by St. Louis-based Foresight Energy and operated by M-Class Mining at Sugar Camp Energy LLC near Macedonia.

 Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler hasn't released details on the cause of death. The Southern Illinoisan reports that he has only indicated that Rath's body was brought to the surface and that he was pronounced dead at the mine at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

A coalition of lawmakers from downstate Illinois say they plan to introduce legislation to spur growth in the state's coal industry. 


As Democrats in coal states rush to distance themselves from new federal regulations intended to address global warming -- Senator Dick Durbin says Illinois is in a good position among coal-producing states. 

There are 90 aging coal ash pits in Illinois — piles of slag left behind when coal is burned for energy, most often electricity. Environmental groups are asking for tougher state regulations on coal-burning power companies now that coal ash residue is starting to show up in the water supply.

The Sierra Club is challenging a state decision giving an energy company extra time to install pollution controls at five coal-fired power plants.  The Illinois Pollution Control Board agreed to give Texas-based Dynegy five more years to comply with state pollution standards.  

The State Pollution Control Board should reject a request to extend the timeline for pollution controls at a Bartonville coal plant.  That’s the message from local and state environmental groups for the Edwards coal-plant in Bartonville.  Houston-based power producer Dynegy is buying five Illinois coal plants from Ameren, including the Edwards facility.  Kady McFadden is with the Sierra Club.  She says the federal EPA designated the air quality around the plant below healthy levels:

A federal court has ordered the US EPA to more strictly regulate a form of pollution from coal fired power plants.  It’s a move environmental groups say is a long time in coming, as IPR’s Scott Stuntz reports:

Environmental groups filed a lawsuit against Ameren Energy Resources for alleged air pollution violations at the Edwards coal plant in Bartonville.  The Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council and other groups filed the lawsuit in federal court.  They say the plant violated the Clean Air Act more than 1,000 times in the last five years.  Kady McFadden is with the Sierra Club.  She says the lawsuit is seeking better pollution controls at the plant: