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.