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Fracking Independence Day: Frontline Group SAFE Appeals for Support and Action


I mentioned this idea to Sierra Club: I wanted to be part of the 2050 club -- the planning committee for the future, to anticipate 40 years down the road what our children can expect, to mitigate the pollution in terms of generation instead of elections -- well, you know what happened -- I was told good luck getting members and laughed at.

If we could work together with other anti-extraction groups in southern Illinois, what would that look like? At one point, we considered going to friends in coal mining to wage a bet- but that's like selling your soul to the devil.

Based on the latest research for coal in Illinois -- it's costing taxpayers $20 million annually- what will the cumulative cost of fracking burden our children with? -

By taking back our communities from corporations and their subsequent greed, creating allies in similar pro-environmental groups, we could shift the tides, make use of shared resources and educate more rural areas to the propaganda and fallacies that spread virally in the words "jobs, economic boost, economic stimulation, etc."

JB: With the new fracking regulatory rules on the books in Illinois, what do you see as the main priorities for SAFE and impacted residents in southern IL this summer and fall?

TST: SAFE's primary goal is to continue to educate property owners and rural citizens on the short and long term risk of fracking. We value our constitutional right, IL Article XI, to a healthy environment. SAFE will continue to support a moratorium and work towards a ban. Another of SAFE's primary goals is litigation at the state level based upon the right to a healthy environment.

SAFE would also like to help counties and local governments put ordinances in place that protect the communities from the abuse of industry.

As far as what the public can be doing to prepare and SAFE will be assisting with these as much as possible as a resource to IL residents:

Every one should be taking before pictures, to document what your communities look like before frackers come to town. Document what the roads look like, the lack of light in the evening in rural settings. make recordings of the sound of nature in communities and rural settings.

Test for radioactivity--I laughed about this at first, but hey, if there is no "before" you can't prove it after--and by after it may be ten years from now that all your neighbors end up with breast cancer and you can say well back then... and now there is "x" in the air or water.

The water testing is a big one.

Counties have the right to enact road restrictions, sound ordinances, light ordinances (fracking rigs operate day and night, trucks don't stop delivering fuel, water or chemicals).

Surface owners need to be educated about their rights with regard to forced pooling and forced integration.

Did I say water testing yet? I really can't express the importance of this enough. Another issue that I hadn't thought of was having the flow rate testing and documented. As we have seen in other states, like Colorado and even in place like Ohio and Pennsylvania, and most recently Michigan, water sources will be depleted, especially in times of drought. Measuring the flow rate of water wells will grant the home owner some validity when a well goes dry and a complaint is made to the state and consequentially in litigation. Once a property has been depleted of a water source the property value then decreases considerably making the home less salable and desirable.

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