The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recently released a modification letter it sent to Sunrise seeking additional details; the agency said more than 60 modifications and requests for clarification were included such as details on groundwater monitoring plans and an order to revise Bulldog’s runoff drainage plan.

State officials are also seeking additional information on blasting; more specifics on public and private water supplies; and details on any potential impact on fish, wildlife and endangered species in the area.

Sunrise Communications Director Suzanne Jaworowski said, however, that the letter’s arrival was not a surprise.

“A modification letter is a standard part of the permitting process for all new mine permit applications in the state of Illinois,” she said.

Jamalyn Sarver, Sunrise Coal property manager, added that the company believes the IDNR’s requested modifications and updates can be “readily handled.”

“[The request is] a benchmark that brings us one step closer to approval,” he added.

Sunrise now has a year to provide responses to all of the agency’s requests. It had outlined 2015 or 2016 for a target start.

If the Bulldog mine comes to fruition, the room-and-pillar operation plans to employ about 300 workers.