Work to Stop Fracking in IL
Work for a Moratorium. Support SB3386
On February 14, 2014, Senator Ira Silverstein introduced SB3386 “FRACKING-BAN TASK FORCE” bill to the Illinois state legislature. SB3386 places a moratorium on fracking until more is known about its impact to constitutional rights.
Senator Silverstein serves on the Joint Committee on Administrative Review, which will decide whether to reject or adopt the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Rules on the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, signed into law this past summer. Call or write Senator Silverstein and thank him for his leadership on SB3386. Let him know you support a moratorium and why. Need help? Use these talking points from Fair Economy Illinois.
Support the Green Dozen + 2
Would you believe it? Since the rules to regulate fracking were released by the IDNR, fourteen bills have been drafted to protect Illinois residents from hydraulic fracturing! This includes SB3386, but also includes amendments to the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act and other legislation to close loopholes in the rules proposed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources; and to protect public health and our environment.
Get your elected officials on board and make those calls! Click here to find contact information.
Support Community Rights Initiatives
In Johnson County, Illinois
lllinois law ensures that its citizens have rights to clean air, clean water, and property rights that include protection against tresspass, including subsurface trespass. Because these rights can be asserted locally, voters in Johnson County, Illinois put an anti-fracking measure on the ballot this past spring (March 2013) that read:
“Shall the people’s right to local self-government be asserted by Johnson County to ban corporate fracking as a violation of their rights to health, safety and a clean environment?”
Unfortunately, this initiative failed at the ballot box. Although more than 100 municipalities have passed bans or restrictions on fracking (not all of them are areas targeted for oil and gas extraction), a local media blackout tried to silence Community Bill of Rights supporters, causing residents in Johnson County to dig deeper into grassroots organizing to protect their communities from fracking.
The ballot initiative was drawn up by local Johnson County residents and southern Illinois native and resident Natalie Long, a community organizer with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Johnson County residents opposed to fracking remain hopeful that they can obtain support from their three-member county commission to ban the practice by adopting a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance that:
- Asserts the rights of the community, including the right to local self-governance, the right to clean air, and the right to clean water; and
- Identifies activities that violate those rights, and therefore are prohibited in the community.
Ongoing Work / Next Steps to Stop Fracking in IL
Those opposed to hydraulic fracturing in Illinois are working to stop bills that have been introduced to bypass the Illinois Department of Natural Resources public comment and rule making process and otherwise fast-track hydraulic fracturing in Illinois. They are using recent studies and news reports that highlight the negative environmental impacts of fracking, including earthquakes. A scientific study confirms confirms that pumping fracking fluids into the ground increases seismic activity. The area where hydraulic fracturing is most likely to take place in Illinois is situated along two major active seismic zones (New Madrid and Wabash Valley).
After the Illinois Department of Natural Resources releases its updated rules (based on comments received during the initial comment period), the rules will again be available for review and response. This is expect to take place in September or October 2014. A final redraft of the rules is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
EJC supports the initiatives of grass-roots organizing by residents in potentially impacted communities or counties.