Last January I addressed the serious ecological dangers of hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”) as a method for extracting natural gas from underground shale. At the end of the post, I noted with some alarm that a Louisiana energy company is currently seeking to lease hundreds of acres of farmland for fracking in Edwards County, IL.
Advocacy time. A important new piece of legislation is now being proposed by Faith in Place, an Illinois interfaith environmental coalition. Sponsored by Sen. Michael Frerichs, it is called SB 664 (or the “Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Act.”) and is modeled after a ruling by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Bottom line, SB 664 would:
• Require companies extracting natural gas from shale in Illinois to disclose their chemical formula to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and to the public.
• Prohibit the injection of volatile organic BTEX compounds into groundwater.
• Outline safeguards for storing and disposing of wastewater.
In other words, SB 664 would require companies to disclose the chemicals they use in the drilling process. This way, if any polluted water or natural gas finds its way to a faucet, we will know exactly who put it there. And we can hold them accountable.
Faith in Place is looking for more legislative sponsors—and citizen support—to pass SB 664. If you live in Illinois, please click here to learn what you can do.