Metropolis, Illinois officials are drafting a resolution to oppose the construction of a McCracken county rail-to-barge coal terminal. The proposed facility will be across the river from Metropolis' developed riverfront. Madisonville-based Southern Coal Handling purchased around 230 acres in western McCracken County in August to construct the facility. Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel says while the city is pro-coal and pro-industry, the proposed location directly across the river would be detrimental to the city’s economy.
“The only distance that separates that facility and our whole riverfront development is the width of the river. And we have hundreds of millions of dollars invested in infrastructure, plus the casino, plus a hotel, right there on that side.”
The land purchase took place in August, largely outside of the public eye. And McDaniel says the public should be allowed time to express opinions on the matter.
“Makes us think that there’s things there that maybe they don’t want the public to know. And so we’re just asking for the court to postpone it till you have a time to have your public input.”
McDaniel says his main concern is air and noise pollution the plant could create. Mike Fitz with Southern Coal Handling tells the Paducah Sun a problem with airborne coal dust is not expected. And he says the company has secured an air permit from the EPA. The company is awaiting further permits from the Army Corps of Engineers.