The Illinois protest movement against fracking, after last year’s defeat to the gas industry with the passage of the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, continues in a number of localities across the state. Here are some highlights gleaned from word-of-mouth, newspaper reports and online articles. If you have more developments, please include them in the comments and I’ll add them!
Referendum to Ban Fracking in Johnson County
Residents of this southern Illinois county, working with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE), collected the required signatures to put a non-binding resolution to ban fracking on the March primary ballot. Supporters of a ban say that the resolution asserts local control over corporate interest, and if successful, will put pressure on county officials to ultimately ban fracking in the county, which contains part of the Shawnee National Forest.
Lydersen, Kari (16 January 2014). “Rural County to Take Illinois Fracking Debate to the Ballot Box“. Midwest Energy News.
Sand Frac Mine Opposed in Utica, Illinois
Utica village residents have stymied Aramoni LLC’s plans to open a frac sand quarry, citing potential health issues and the possibility of yet another mine negatively affecting the environment and tourist industry. The county board has not granted the permit, and on January 28th the company will have a chance to present its case. The frac sand mine would supply fracking operations in Illinois with the sand necessary for high-pressured injections. On Saturday, May 24th, there will be an all-day public educational gathering opposing the frac sand mine quarry.
Collins, Tom (16 January 2014). “Want Cancer? Mine for Sand: Witness for Anti-sand camp Links Silica, Illness”. News Tribune.
Stout, Steve (16 January 2014). “No Decision in Proposed Waltham Sand Quarry”. The Times (Ottawa).
Stout, Steve (17 January 2014). “Rural Utica Man Fears for Local Tourism if Quarry Approved”. The Times (Ottawa).