State auditors say the Illinois Department of Natural Resources didn’t employ enough mine-safety inspectors the past two years to comply with state law.
An Illinois auditor general’s report released yesterday says the department had 10 inspectors for more than 40 mines. The state Coal Mining Act calls for at least 16 inspectors. DNR Spokesman Chris McCloud says the agency lacked the money to hire enough inspectors, but has never missed an inspection.
Phil Smith is a spokesman for the United Mineworkers of America. He said many of the state and federal agencies responsible for mine safety lack the money to do their jobs. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration reports one miner died on the job in Illinois over the past two years. Another miner died this year.