[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]Would You Believe It … 
14 Bills that Will Protect IL from  Fracking!
It’s now springtime (well, almost)! And that means our Illinois representatives and senators are in session.  It also means that this is the time to lobby for bills that protect our environment and public health.

And because of the hard work from many groups, fourteen bills (see below) have been prepared to address loopholes as well as key health and environmental concerns associated with the rules that were prepared by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to regulate the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act that was signed into law in Illinois this past June.  As part of an ongoing campaign to keep hydraulic fracturing out of Illinois, groups such as Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment; Illinois Public Action; and Frack-Free Illinois have:

  • Encouraged attendance and testimony on rules proposed by the IDNR to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
  • Solicited (and delivered) more than 32,000 written comments calling out the flaws in the proposed law and asking the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to reject the rules as they were proposed by the IDNR.
  • Worked with attorneys and legislators to create 14 individual bills that largely address concerns over public health and environmental protection.  This includes a temporary ban on hydraulic fracturing in Illinois (see SB3386, below).

Now It’s YOUR Turn! 

  • Sign this moveon.org petition that supports what many activists are calling the “Green Dozen” Bills.
  • Call your state senator to ask him or her to sponsor the bills identified below.  Click here to find your senator as well as contact information. The descriptions provided below can be used as talking points – and the links provide additional information, including more details on each bill as well as current sponsors.

Come a day early, and join EJC and HCA for a day of lobby training and education about the coal legislation that also is proposed. Click here for details.

This is the time to protect Illinois from hydraulic fracturing – don’t sit this one out!
[/column][column width=”47%” padding=”0″]The Green Dozen by Frack-Free Illinois+ 2
SB3386 – Temporarily Bans Fracking and Creates Enhanced Investigative Task Force – There are new fracking revelations, findings and incidents are happening in states across the country every day, let’s learn from their mistakes!

SB3181 – Funds Enforcement  –  Dedicates the excise tax from fracking operations to be used for enforcement and legacy pollution issues.  (fact sheet)

SB3230 – Ends the Production Tax 2-Year “Give Away” – The Industry does not need a “grace period”.

SB3326 – Allows Consent from Counties + Create A Fair Permit Challenge Process – ALL local governments, including counties, should be able to consent (or not consent) to fracking permits. Increase the permit challenge process to 90 days.

SB3327 – Shields Illinoisans With Improved Setbacks – Increase the distance from fracking operations to homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, livestock operations, wetlands, waterways and nuclear power plants; calls for minimum1500-foot setback.

SB3328 – Safeguards the Mahomet Aquifer – Suspend hydraulic fracturing in the Mahomet Aquifer, the source of drinking water for over 1,000,000 Central Illinoisans, create a task force to prevent contamination.

SB3329 – Protects Illinois Taxpayers from Industry-Related Liability – Increase and specify industry insurance requirements, and increase bonding, if and when an accident happens.

SB3330 – Provides for Full Chemical Disclosure – Make sure ALL fracking chemicals are disclosed to the medical community and emergency responders. Public health should trump “trade secrets”.

SB3424 – Protects Public Lands – Prohibits corporations from tracking on or under public lands. (fact sheet)

SB3483 – Safeguard Illinois’ Property Owners from Industry Trespassing – Make sure Illinois landowners are informed and, when necessary, give consent for fracking on their legally-owned property.

SB3484 – Flood Plains Are Unsafe for Fracking – Say “No” to Colorado-style contamination in Illinois flood plains.

SB3485 – Redefines Hydraulic Fracturing – Amend HFRA to cover ALL fracking operations and methods, (gases, foams, gels, nitrogen, chemicals), not just water-based operations.

SB3492 – Prohibits Hydraulic Fracturing in Active Earthquake Zones – Say “No” to fracking in the active earthquake zones, such as the New Madrid and Wabash Valley. Investigate induced earthquakes first in order to protect Illinoisans.

SB3562 – Protects Illinois from Radioactive Waste – Fracking waste water and debris is often radioactive, the industry should test all of their waste, if positive they should dispose of their waste as Low Level Radioactive Waste, (LLRW).

NOTE:  Eco-Justice Collaborative supports these initiatives by environmental groups who have worked with elected officials to create bills that respond to some of the most serious concerns and southern Illinois residents engaged in community rights organizing and ordinances to stop hydraulic fracturing.

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