More Fracking Threats: Radioactive Waste

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Support a Moratorium on Fracking in Illinois
A fracking regulatory bill is being drafted in Springfield.  The Illinois state legislature, which has sat on the sidelines as new technologies using high-pressure fracturing techniques to extract natural gas have launched energy booms in long-dormant states, could see a boom of its own in the coming months.  Southern Illinois is already bracing itself and a bill moving through the Illinois General Assembly would create new regulations.

But fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. Most recently, a study out of Penn State looking at wastewater, also called flowback, from fracking in the Marcellus shale found high levels of radioactive radium and barium.

“Improper disposal of the flowback can lead to unsafe levels of these and other constituents in water, biota and sediment from wells and streams,” the researchers said.

Pennsylvania resident Randy Moyer, who is suffering from a flurry of health problems he believes are the result of radiation exposure from his work transporting fracking wastefluids. Pennsylvania’s Beaver County Times reports:

Moyer said he began transporting brine, the wastewater from gas wells that have been hydraulically fractured, for a small hauling company in August 2011. He trucked brine from wells to treatment plants and back to wells, and sometimes cleaned out the storage tanks used to hold wastewater on drilling sites. By November 2011, the 49-year-old trucker was too ill to work. He suffered from dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, difficulty breathing, swollen lips and appendages, and a fiery red rash that covered about 50 percent of his body. Read more

Why a Moratorium and not Regulation?
Regulations will not work, particularly for  large-scale energy operations employing poor practices with little oversight. Our state would need an army of regulators at the poorly funded Illinois Dept of Natural Resources in order to enforce any regulations, and without enforcement, regulations are worthless.

A ban on fracking would be the safest long-term approach to protect the health and well-being of Illinois residents, our environment and the future of our state, but a moratorium with a science-based investigative task force and public hearings are reasonable first steps.  That’s what is being proposed by Southern Illinoisans against Fracturing our Environment and many others.

Please Sign this Petition
Take just a moment to read and then sign this well-crafted petition to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Senate Pres. John Cullerton,Speaker Mike Madigan, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and Illinois Legislators, asking for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing with a science-based investigative task force.

Fracking is a dangerous distraction from the green energy future that we deserve and that we must fund and build. The road to our energy independence is not lined with drilling rigs, but instead lined with conservation, energy efficient buildings, wind mills and solar arrays.

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