Mission Statement

Canton Area Citizens for Environmental Issues, Canton Lake, and its Watershed (CACEI) is a grassroots effort to preserve and protect natural resources in our community. Members live in Canton, as well as Canton and Orion Townships, and also include others who own property near the proposed North Canton Coal Mine.

Protecting Water Resources

Beginning in 2005, CACEI’s mission of preserving and protecting our community’s environment and natural beauty took the focus of working to prevent a surface coal mine from opening in the watershed of Canton Lake. The mine would have destroyed many tributaries of the West and Middle Branches of Copperas Creek that flow through the mine site. Additionally, the mine would have discharged pollutants into these streams. We were concerned because the mine would have discharged into the West Branch of Copperas Creek just over a mile north of Canton Lake. Below the Lake, Copperas Creek flows on to the Illinois River. The North Canton Mine, LLC application acknowledged that increased levels of sulfate and sediment would flow to Canton Lake from the mine.

Canton Lake is the water resource for 20,000 residents living in Canton, Dunfermline-St.David, Norris, Fairview, Cuba with extensions to Wee-Ma-Tuk and Fiatt. CACEI was concerned about the proposed mine’s impact on the private wells in Brereton and the surrounding homesteads. National and international environmental organizations have studied the importance of water in the growth and well-being of communities. Their studies emphasize the monetary value of clean, abundant water is priceless. It is a necessity in order to survive and prosper.

Citizen groups applaud Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan for taking strong action to address the hundreds of repeated violations of clean water laws by the Industry Mine, McDonough County, IL. The Attorney General lists pages of mine discharges exceeding permit levels for the pollutants iron, manganese, sulfates, pH and total suspended solids. The engineer for the proposed North Canton Mine was the same engineer that was overseeing the Industry Mine and the Black Nugget Mine, LLC in McDonough County. This was a huge concern for us as the Canton Lake is just over a mile upstream from the mine site.

Preserving the Environment Now and for the Future

CACEI wants the best for the City of Canton and adjoining townships as the area moves forward into the future. We want to protect the green space, areas for future growth of residential neighborhoods, Canton Lake neighborhoods, commercial areas, the city’s water resource, rural wells, farmland, the natural beauty of the area and the recreational activities provided by the lake. The organization works for long-term protection of our environmental assets for us and future generations.

Contact Us

Brenda Dilts,  Chair
P O Box 57
Canton, IL


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