A procession of local residents and member of Environment Illinois marched through the state’s capital to ask Governor Pat Quinn to enforce stricter regulations.
The group wants the process of approving new mines to be more stringent, with increased rules and a lengthier process.
A statement was released saying that the protesters were concerned at how quickly new mines were being approved, noting that since 2010, Illinois coal output was up 42%.
They accused DNR regulations of being lax and claimed that mines were allowed to operate despite being found to be in violation of state regulations.
They were also concerned that a surge in mining would destroy farmland and pollute water.
The protest occurred the day after the DNR said it would reform its processes when dealing with coal mining permits to include public opinion in the process.