Monthly Archives: March 2014

Send this letter to your reps & senators for Lobby Day!

Frack Free Illinois
April 3, 2014

Dear Illinois Representatives and Senators,

Frack Free Illinois seeks your urgent support for the “Green Dozen” legislation on fracking – these bills will close serious and dangerous loopholes and flaws in the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, HFRA, and will help to safeguard Illinois residents, land, air and water.

SB3492 Keep fracking out of active earthquake zones
SB3562 Properly handle fracking radioactive waste
SB3485 Redefine fracking so that all fracking methods will be covered by HFRA
SB3328 Safeguard the Mahomet Aquifer from fracking and fracking solid waste
SB3327 Establish safer setbacks from fracking operations
SB3484 Floodplains are unsafe for fracking until we know more
SB3330 Fully disclose fracking chemicals to physicians, 1st responders and patients
SB3326 All local jurisdictions should be able to consent to or deny fracking permits
SB3230 The industry should not get a “tax give-away”
SB3329 Increase bonds and insurance to cover costs of fracking impacts
SB3483 All property owners have the right of refusal of fracking on their property
SB3386 Don’t frack Illinois, slow down and investigate this dangerous technology

Unfortunately all of the “Green Dozen” have been assigned to a sub-committee of the Senate Energy Comm. by Sen. Mike Jacobs. It is imperative that the trajectory of these bills changes – we deserve a full debate and passage of all of these bills, before the inevitable, fracking-related catastrophes begin in our state.

Permits are being issued right now for frack wells in IL, taking advantage of a serious loophole in HFRA – fracking with less than 300,000 gals of fluid, (that is fracking with hazardous substances such as hydrofluoric acid, nitrogen, propane and other gels, foams and gases), falls out of the regulatory statute. Even if the rules proposed by the IDNR are completely rewritten, there will still be dangerous gaps in the regulatory framework.
Truly adequate rules cannot be written from an inadequate statute.

Climate change is worsening more rapidly than any of the climate scientists imagined and fracking for oil and natural gas exacerbates climate change greatly, with the leaking of significant methane, (a potent green house gas), from hundreds of thousands of wells. It also continues our reliance on the fossil fuels that have driven the world to the brink of a global crisis. The younger people of this state and country understand this and they are not going to sit back and take the destruction of their planet lightly – be prepared to face a growing movement to ban fracking.
We also support SB3424, (no fracking on public lands), and SB3181, (use some of the production tax for renewable energy projects and for cleaning up oil and gas pollution), and are hopeful that they are allowed out of the subcommittee and onto the floor of the Senate.

Frack Free Illinois encourages your strong support for HB2864/SB103, which allows for a no-cost fix to ratepayers for the Renewable Energy Standard, (RPS). These bills will promote renewable energy development and create green jobs.

We also support:
HB5866 (Energy Resources Fund)
HB5939 (Coal and PetCoke Regulations)
HB4599/SB343 (A ban on the sale and use of coal tar sealant)
HB5660 (Removes the legal mandate requiring the IDCEO to provide coal education)
SB1666 (Labels Genetically Modified Foods)
We strongly oppose:
HB2759 and HB5295 (Oil and NG drilling on Highway Lands)
HB5567 (Oil and NG permit petitions)
HB6007/SB3417 (Repeal of the Nuclear Moratorium) And we oppose any “bail outs” for Exelon, which made their corporate choice to build expensive nuclear power plants without including the public in those decisions, and now must live in the “free-market” which they helped create in the late 90s.
HB5849 (Increases the amount of hazardous lead and air pollution allowable from eligible sources)
HB4226 (Establishes a hunting season on bobcats in IL)

Environment Illinois, the Eco-Justice Collaborative, Progressive Democrats of Illinois, Illinois Peoples Action, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment, Nuclear Energy Information Services have endorsed all of our Green Dozen bills.

The Sierra Club endorses 10 out of 12 bills:
 SB3485-Redefine Fracking, SB3326-Local Control, SB3492-Earthquakes, SB3562-Radioactivity, SB3328-Mahonet Aquifer, SB3484-Flood Plains, SB3327-Setbacks, SB3330-Chemical Disclosure, SB3483-Protect Property Owners, SB3230-End Tax Give-Away

The Mahomet Valley Water Authority endorses SB3328, the Ban on Fracking in the Mahomet Aquifer.
And many environmental groups around the state endorse the Ban on Fracking, SB3386.

Senators – please co-sponsor the “Green Dozen” and encourage Sen. Mike Jacobs to allow them to move out of his subcommittee.

Representatives – please encourage the leadership of both chambers to allow these bills to move forward.

______________________________, Zip Code _______________
Frack Free Illinois – Contact: Dr. Lora Chamberlain,, 773-486-7660


Lobby Day Schedule – April 3rd, Springfield, IL

 9:30 AM Frack Free Table – North Hall Capitol Rotunda – staffing of table begins.
 10:30–11:30AM Participants should meet in the Stratton Building Cafeteria, located in the basement of the Stratton Building for coffee, sign-in, training and lobby materials. Lobby materials will also be available at our table in the Capitol.
11:30AM-1:30PM Lobby your senator and representative to support our bills. We will also be asking that you contact at least 2 other senators and representatives for their support. Each participant will have a Lawmaker Visit Report form for each senator or representative contacted to be turned in at the table before you leave.
1:30-2:15PM Press conference at the Lincoln Statue at the corner of 2nd and Capitol Streets on the East side of the Capitol Building.
2:30-4:15PM Continue lobbying senators and representatives.
4:30- 5:30 PM Meeting in the Auditorium on the first floor of the Howlett Building, located south of the Capitol Building, connected to the Capitol by a tunnel, to discuss the events of the day and strategy. You can invite any of the Reps and Sens to meet us here to discuss the “Green Dozen”.
5:30 – 6:30PM After the Howlett Auditorium meeting, join the group for dinner. We have a room reserved at Gallina’s located at 423 East Monroe Street, approximately 2 ½ blocks east of the Capitol on Monroe Street. More information and map at:
Frack Free Contacts Dr. Lora Chamberlain – 773-486-7660
JoAnn Conrad – 217-652-6197
Linda Green – 217-827-0811

The Green Dozen Cheat Sheet

Act/Rules Problem Solution

Making Fracking Less Dangerous

Radioactivity. A§1-75(a)7: Radioactivity testing “once per well site” for (1) flowback H2O & ground “adjacent to” (2) storage tanks and (3) reserve pits.
No testing of produced H2O or tank bottoms & equipment.
R§245.850 does not define “radioactivity” or “adjacent to,” does not define a test date & fails to use powers & duties [A §1-15] to test radium scale in pipe, equipment & oil tank bottom sediment–used as “road oil.”
C: The USGS found dangerous levels of radium in IL oil tank sludge & oilfield pipe. Yet, R§240.940 allows radium-bearing waste to be spread on roads or soil.
SB3562: Radioactive Waste
Requires radioactive fracturing waste to be handled as required by the IL Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Act and creates a task force to study the proper handling of radioactive fracturing waste.
Floodplains. Omitted. Large areas of Southern Illinois lie in the state’s 100-Year Floodplain: example–46, 40, 28 and 25% of Gallatin, White, Saline & Hamilton Counties, lie in the 100-Yr floodplain. Colorado’s 100-Yr Flood last Sept. is an object lesson to fracking in floodplains. SB3484: Floodplains
Disallows fracturing in 100-year floodplain areas and creates a task force to assess affects of fracturing in floodplains before fracturing can go forward.
Earthquakes. A§1-96: Calls for linking quake to a Class II injection well & traffic light system to scale back or cease injections; Wabash & New Madrid Seismic Zone dangers overlooked.  R§240.796: No system to link quake & Class II well. Traffic light cut points set way above scientific consensus. ≥ M5 or major quake must occur before well is shut down. Wabash & New Madrid Seismic Zones can generate devastating +M7 quakes that would obliterate frack infrastructure and cause serious, widespread pollution. Ban required in these zones. SB3492: Earthquake Zones
Disallows fracturing in Illinois active earthquake zones until a task force completes a thorough, scientifically-based review.
Setbacks. A§1-25: 300′ to stream or lake; 500′ to home, school, church, hospital, nursing home; 1,500′ to public H2O intake. Setbacks are grossly inadequate. Duke U. scientists find H2O well pollution within 3,000′ of frack pads. Blowouts can lead to home evacuations within a 1 mile (5,280′) radius of well blowout. Texas has averaged as many as 30 blowouts per year. SB3327: Improved Setbacks
Establishes safer setbacks for schools, residences, businesses, churches, parks, water sources and nuclear facilities.
Chemical Disclosure. R§245.730: MDs must contact IDNR “during business hours” for “as quickly as possible” reply; or 24/7 to trade secret holder w. reply within 2 hrs. ER doctors need chemical disclosure in 2 minutes, not 2 hours. Two hours is likely to be a death sentence to someone doused with frack chemicals. As much as half of frack chemicals are protected as “trade secrets” and these may be the most lethal ones. SB3330: Full Chemical Disclosure
Provides for easy access for medical community and patients in cases of chemical exposure requiring assessment and treatment.
Aquifers. Single source aquifers receive no protection. The Mahomet Aquifer is the single source water supply for the >750,000 people in 80 cities & towns. Pollute that aquifer & we depopulate Central Illinois. SB3328: Mahomet Aquifer
Disallows fracturing above the aquifer and creates a task force to study affects of fracturing. Adds protections from frack waste dumping.

Protect Private Property, Increase Revenues & Reduce Transfer of Corporate Liabilities to Taxpayers 

Insurance. R§245.210(b)1C, §245.210(a)19: $5M per occurrence for injuries, damage, loss related to pollution. Where is the coverage of losses/damages from fires, explosions, blowouts, road accidents, pollution of air & soil? Where is workers’ compensation, business auto liability & environmental impairment insurance? Where is a road repair security instrument? SB3329: Insurance Requirements
Defines types and more appropriate amounts of insurance required. Increases bond amounts.
Property rights. Act lets oil leases strip landowners of protections (A§1-25(a)1,1-30(b)10E, 1-80(d), 1-95(d) & void historic property rights. It may allow drillers to drill lateral wells under property without due notice, leases or royalties Oil leases can eliminate setbacks, H2O withdrawal plans, water baseline testing, site restoration & require non-disclosure. The principle of oil leases trumping the Act may carry to other sections of the law. Property rights (finite terms, rents, consent on easements & 3rd party leases, security deposits, etc.) are gone. Fracking may involve the biggest land grab since whites stole land from Native Americans. SB3483: Industry Trespassing
Closes loopholes to protect property owners from industry trespassing on their property.
Compliance w. Local Laws. A§1-120: Compliance required with “applicable” local laws. Rule counterpart to A§1-120 is missing. No rule spelling out what is “applicable”; no rule barring state preemption of county zoning or environmental laws. Will state overrule county zoning prohibiting oil wells in floodplains & areas zoned residential, commercial etc.? SB3326: Local Consent & Fair Permitting
Allows county jurisdictions the same rights as municipalities. Enhances the public involvement in granting/denying consent to frack.
Hi. Vol. HF Definition. A§1-5: 300K gals. of fluid & proppant with lateral ≥80° to vertical Definition’s loophole large enough for a fleet of side-by-side frack water trucks. Wells can be engineered to fall outside criteria. Hence, no Frack Act “protections,” permit fee of $100 rather than $13.5K, tax rate of .01% rather than ±3% SB3485: Inclusive Definition of Fracking
Eliminates the current maximum gallons and changes definitions of fracturing and stimulations so the Act will cover all types of fracturing.
Taxes. A§2-15: 3% for 2 years; then 4% for <50 to ≥25 bpd; 3% for <25 to >15 bpd; and 0% for ≤15 bpd. Fracked or “tight oil” wells in the Bakken, ND have declines of 69% for the first year & 39% for the second, etc. With these declines an IL well with 200 bpd on day one would play 3% for years 1 & 2; 4% for year 3; 3% for year 4, and no taxes for year 5 and beyond. SB3230: End Tax Giveaways
Eliminates the lower tax rate for the first 24 months when well production will be at its peak.

Baker’s Dozen–All of the Above Plus More

The changes recommended above are by no means comprehensive. Here are but two examples of issues not covered: (1) air pollution, which will be significant due to flaring of gas at oil wells with the resulting respiratory, neurological, and cardiac health problems called “Downwinder’s Syndrome”; (2) archaic Class II injection well regulations requiring no insurance, no baseline testing of nearby water wells, no seismic monitoring to establish operator liability for injection-induced earthquakes, and a mechanical integrity test only once every five years. This means that an injection well can be leaking into an aquifer for more than 5 years before it is shut down, assuming that the IDNR is actually conducting timely inspections of Class II wells.

Moratorium SB3386: Task Force & Moratorium
We really don’t know enough to allow fracturing in Illinois. Additional permits should not be issued until the expanded task force completes a thorough, scientifically-based review.

The Green Dozen

1) Please call or visit your IL Rep and Sen 1-217-782-2000, ask them to support all of these “Green Dozen” fracking bills.  The following senators are part of the Energy Committee:

Senator Mike Jacobs
Senator David Koehler
Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr.
Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins
Senator Gary Forby
Senator Michael W. Frerichs
Senator Iris Y. Martinez
Senator Antonio Muñoz
Senator Michael Noland
Senator Martin A. Sandoval
Senator Donne E. Trotter
Senator Patricia Van Pelt
Senator Sue Rezin
Senator Kirk W. Dillard
Senator Karen McConnaughay
Senator Matt Murphy
Senator Dale A. Righter
Senator Chapin Rose
2) Join Frack Free Illinois in Springfield for our lobby day on April 3rd, contact us at and the event page:

For questions or to volunteer please call 773-486-7660.

3) Your organization can endorse the “Green Dozen” fracking bills, drop us a note at 

4) Or join us on our Sunday night state-wide conference calls at 7pm, 1-605-477-2100 pin 458604# – thanks!

Click on bill numbers to check the status of our bills and bills we support. Click on the bill name to read the lobby sheet.

Make Fracking Safer:

SB3492 Safeguard Illinoisans in the Active Earthquake Zones – Say “No” to fracking and disposal of waste water in IL active earthquake zones, the New Madrid and Wabash Valley. OK went from 50 earthquakes a year to 3000 last year – most fracking related.

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

SB3485 Fracturing Redefined – There is a huge loophole in the regulations, fracking methods such as nitrogen, propane and hydrofluoric acid are not regulated or taxed.

SB3328 – Safeguard the Mahomet Aquifer – Suspend fracking in the Mahomet Aquifer, the source of drinking water for over 1,000,000 Central Illinoisans.

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

SB3330 Patients and the Medical Community Deserve Full Chemical Disclosure – Make sure all fracking chemicals are disclosed to the medical community and emergency responders. Public health should trump “trade secrets”.

SB3327 – Shield Illinoisans with Improved Setbacks – Increase the distance from fracking to homes, schools, hospitals and livestock operations to 1500ft — If Dallas, TX can pass 1500 ft setbacks then Illinois can too.

Make Fracking Fair:

SB3326 Allow Consent from All Local Jurisdictions, and 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 at the IDNR.

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

SB3230 End the Production Tax 2-year “Give Away” – The Oil and NG industry does not need a 2 year “grace period” on taxes.

SB3329 – Protect Illinois Taxpayers from Industry-related Liability – Increase and specify industry insurance requirements, and increase the bonds. When the fraccidents start happening here in IL – don’t let the frackers skip town.

Protect Illinois From All Of The Above:

SB3386 Ban Fracking and Enhance the Investigative Task Force – New horrific fracking revelations, findings and incidents are happening in states across the country every day. Let’s learn from their mistakes!