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Feature - Post-Coal Depression in the Illinois Basin
Peter van Agtmael
For most of the 20th century, the Illinois Basin, located in the southern part of the state, was a thriving coal mining center. Local communities which had depended on the coal industry were devastated in the 1990s when new environmental regulations came into effect: production plummeted and thousands became unemployed. The remaining residents are largely impoverished and don't know if local communities will ever fully recover.
On assignment for Pacific Standard, Peter van Agtmael documented the depressed Illinois Basin region and the remainders of their once massive industry.

Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. Flying over coal mines in Southern Illinois....
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. An abandoned coal mine in Southern Illinois....
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. An abandoned coal mine in Southern Illinois....
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. Flying over the impoundment structure at...
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. Flying over Southern Illinois. Mining...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Cairo, Illinois, a nearly abandoned town...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. An old abandoned Greek Revival style bank...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. On the road out of Cairo, Illinois. Mining...
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. Cairo, Illinois, a nearly abandoned town...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Closed store in downtown West Frankfort....
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Local young people talk with activist Georgia...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Herrin,...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Road kill in coal mining country, Southern...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. The Eagle River Coal Mines-Franks LLC in...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Ryan Langley, a worker at the Eagle River...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Georgia de la Garza, a local environmental...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. The Frankfort Area Historical Museum in...
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. The Frankfort Area Historical Museum in...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Bingo night at the Fraternal Order of Eagles...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Jack McReynolds at Dixie Cream Donuts in...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Barbecue joint in Cairo, Illinois, a nearly...
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USA. Illinois. 2017. Alex Paull, a writer in Southern Illinois,...
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. Alex Paull, a writer in Southern Illinois,...
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. Georgia de la Garza, a local environmental...
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. Cairo, Illinois, a nearly abandoned town...
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Peter van Agtmael 2017

USA. Illinois. 2017. A baseball team practices nearby the Rocky...
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