Our website is 

High volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing (also known as "fracking") is now legal in Illinois, and it must be stopped.  Please help prevent this dangerous practice, which has brought severe water, air, and soil contamination to communities such as Pavillion, WY, Dimock, PA, Dish, TX, and Silt, CO, from devastating our region as well.  Please help preserve the future of Southern and Central Illinois, and of our entire state.

Hydraulic fracturing is a method of natural gas and oil extraction which injects a host of toxic chemicals into the ground and unleashes still other substances (radioactive elements, salts, heavy metals) from underground formations.  Evidence indicates that this process is problematic, from well casings leaking, to not-infrequent spills of toxic fluids, to extremely difficult waste water disposal problems, to air pollution from processing and drilling, to deep declines in property values due to water and soil contamination, and even to health issues experienced by residents living in proximity to drilling activities.

A 2011 United States EPA study on water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming, confirmed a link between hydraulic fracturing and the water contamination present in the Pavillion area.

It is imperative that we ban hydraulic fracturing in Illinois in light of the tremendous track record of pollution and devastation experienced in other states.  

Finally, looking at scientific papers and expert legal testimony indicates that the procedure itself is inherently unpredictable and dangerous; hence, regulations are not going to be able to "control" an inherently unpredictable process. 

We must BAN fracking in Illinois to protect our water, land, air, health, and future.

Whereas high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," is now legal in Illinois, and evidence to date indicates an extremely high likelihood of significant environmental, economic, and residential damage occurring as either direct or indirect result of these activities,  

We, the undersigned, hereby ask that fracking be banned in Illinois due to the inherent and UNREASONABLE risks posed to the water, land, air, residents' health, and economic future of Illinois.

Evidence indicating serious danger and unreasonable risk includes, but is not limited to:

1.  The 2011 United States EPA study on water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming, which confirmed a cause-effect relationship between hydraulic fracturing activities and water aquifer contamination. [1]

2.  Established contamination incidents related to hydraulic fracturing activities which are documented in Dimock, PA, Dish, TX, Silt, CO, Pavillion, WY, and other communities as well.[2][3][4]  The Ohio state government established that an entire Ohio house exploded due to methane build-up resulting from hydraulic fracturing activities.[5]

3.  Hundreds of reports of significant water, soil, and/or air contamination in areas surrounding hydraulic fracturing activities occurring during and/or shortly after said activities, which cannot be scientifically ignored.  Such incidents have occurred in, but are not limited to, Butler, Bradford, and Washington counties in Pennsylvania, Wetzel county in West Virginia, Sublette county in Wyoming, Denton (and other) counties in Texas, and Garfield county, Colorado.  If there is even the slightest possibility that any of this contamination came from hydraulic fracturing activities (including any aspect of the entire process, including spills, leaks, blowouts, seepage, wastewater treatment, burn-off, processing, etc.) then the matter must be thoroughly investigated in every respect.  

4.  Hydraulic fracturing is not federally bound to prevent water or air contamination due to its explicit exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

5.  Reported health effects experienced by residents in proximity to hydraulic fracturing activities include miscarriages, rare cancers, central nervous system disorders, seizures, liver disease, asthma and other breathing problems, chronic dizziness, headaches, rashes, nosebleeds, vomiting, decreased motor skills, and bronchitis. [6][7]  In certain cases, attending physicians were of the opinion that the health effects (including death) were a direct result of proximity to (and resultant exposure to chemicals associated with) hydraulic fracturing activities.[8]

6.  Sharp declines in property values due to water and soil contamination, as well as a total loss of any surrounding visual appeal.[6]  Resultant damage to the economic future of any region, based on threats to other livelihoods, including but not limited to agriculture, tourism, and loss of population base as residents decide to leave contaminated areas. Also, significant damage to local infrastructure and stress on emergency services.

7.  Industrial draws on local water tables resulting in decreased local water quality and pressure.

8.  Extremely problematic history of management of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing activities: multiple pollution issues associated with waste pits [9], existing treatment facilities being unable to handle radioactivity or salt content of wastewater [10], seismologists indicating that injection wells are responsible for a series of recent earthquakes on Ohio [11], and reports of companies simply dumping hazardous wastewater into streams and rivers.

9.  Scientific papers [12] and expert legal testimony [13] indicating that companies can neither control the fractures they produce, nor their interaction with naturally occurring fractures, leaving NO guarantee that pathways cannot possibly exist, or form, to bring underground toxic substances (including methane, injected fracking chemicals, heavy metals, salts, radioactive elements, etc.) into residents' water aquifers.  This makes the entire process a gamble with residents' water, property values, and health.  

10.  Illinois is home to multiple seismic fault zones, including, in Southern Illinois, the New Madrid and Wabash Valley fault zones.  We feel it is an irresponsible act to tamper with underground rock strata in such a way as to pose any risk to the geological stability of the region.  There is also the risk of a natural seismic event opening up pathways for underground stranded toxic fluid/gases to reach water aquifers.

11.  Severe disruption, or even alteration, of local ways of life, due to water, soil, and air contamination, steep declines in property values, social upheavals due to the likelihood of  aspects of the Gillette Syndrome affecting local populations, threats to residents' health, loss of local population as residents decide to leave, and long term threat to local economies due to contamination and infrastructure damage.  

The fact that these risks are being taken on behalf of Illinois residents, thus putting residents' health, well being, financial security, and comfort at risk, as well as risking the future of the entire region, we feel that hydraulic fracturing needs to be banned in Illinois.  It is impossible to establish that NONE of the contamination occurring near hydraulic fracturing activities in the hundreds of instances reported came from (any aspect of) hydraulic fracturing activities, since it is already established that spills, well casing leaks, contamination from wastewater, water aquifer contamination, air pollution, and other problems have already occurred from hydraulic fracturing activities in regions in which hydraulic fracturing has already taken place.   

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this extremely important issue.

[1] DiGiulio, Dominic, Carlyle Miller, Gregory Oberley, and Richard Wilkin. Investigation of Ground Water Contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming. United States Environmental Protection Agency, December 8, 2011.

[2] Rubinkam, Michael.  Dimock, Pennsylvania: EPA To Send Water To Town With Tainted Wells.  January 19, 2012.

[3] Town of Dish, Texas: Ambient Air Monitoring Analysis Final Report prepared by Wolf Eagle Environmental, September 15, 2009.

[4] Lustgarten, Abrahm.  EPA Finds Compound Used in Fracking in Wyoming Aquifer.  November 10, 2011.

[5] Report on the Investigation of the Natural Gas Invasion of Aquifers in Bainbridge Township of Geauga County, Ohio. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management, September 1, 2008.

[6] Goldman, Jennifer, Lisa Sumi, Bill Walker, and Sharon Wilson.  Flowback: How the Texas Natural Gas Boom Affects Health and Safety.  Earthworks' Oil & Gas Accountability Project, April, 2011.

[7]  EPA Confirms Drinking Water Contamination by Toxics Used in Hydraulic Fracturing  Joint Press Release: EARTHWORKS * Powder River Basin Resource Council. August 14, 2009.

[8] Colson, John.  Woman who lived near gas fields dies. November 17, 2010.

[9]  Sumi, Lisa. Pit Pollution: Backgrounder on the Issues, with a New Mexico Case Study.  Oil and Gas Accountability Project, May, 2004.

[10] Urbina, Ian. Regulation Lax as Gas Wells' Tainted Water Hits Rivers.  February 26, 2011.

[11] Sheeran, Thomas.  Ohio Earthquakes Caused By Drilling Wastewater Well, Expert Says.  January 2, 2012.

[12] "Hydraulic fracture geometries are difficult to predict. Even in environments with relatively simple fracture geometries, hydraulic fractures can grow asymmetrically, have variable confinement across geologic horizons, and change orientation. In naturally fractured reservoirs, such as the Barnett Shale, hydraulically created fracture patterns become amazingly complex as the injected slurry preferentially opens the pre-existing fracture network."
"The microseismic imaging project undertaken by Devon Energy in its Barnett Shale field to monitor fracture growth during hydraulic stimulation revealed a complexity of interplay between the hydraulic and natural fractures previously unimagined."

-From research paper "Fracs Tracked Using Microseismic Images" 9/18/03-rev.12/17/08.  Authors: S.C. Maxwell and T.I. Urbancic, ESG International, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. N. Steinsberger, Devon Energy, Fort Worth, Texas and R. Zinno, Schlumberger, Houston, Texas.

"Although attempts are made to design fracturing jobs to create an optimum network of fractures in an oil or gas formation, fracture growth is often extremely complex, unpredictable and uncontrollable."
(Source: Mayerhofer, M.J. and Lolon, E.P., Youngblood, J.E. and Heinze, J.R. 20206. "Integration of Microseismic Fracture Mapping Results with Numerical Fracture Network Production Modeling in the Barnett Shale." Paper prepared for the 2006 SPE Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, TX. Sept. 24-27, 2006.). SPE 102103. Shale%20Gas/SPE102103%20Mayerhofer.pdf

"Computer models are used to simulate fracture pathways, but the few experiments in which fractures have been exposed through coring or mining have shown that hydraulic fractures can behave much differently than predicted by models."  (Source: Warpinski, N., Uhl, J. and Engler, B. (Sandia National Laboratories). 1997. Review of Hydraulic Fracture Mapping Using Advanced Accelerometer-Based Receiver Systems.

With regard to our own New Albany Shale:
"Commercial production from tight sands and shale formations invariably involves hydraulic fracturing of the formation. Although several hydraulic fracturing simulators have been developed during the last twenty years, none is capable of predicting fracture growth in the presence of natural fractures."
(Source: New Albany Shale Gas Research Project by Kent F. Perry and Iraj Salehi

[13] Injected fluids have been known to travel as far as 3,000 feet from the well. (Source: IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS, No. 05-0466, Coastal Oil & Gas Corp. and Coastal Oil & Gas USA, L.P., Petitioners, v. Garza Energy Trust et al., Respondents, On Petition for Review from the Court of Appeals for the Thirteenth District of Texas, Argued September 28, 2006.)

Industry experts' testimony in a landmark Texas Supreme Court case, Garza v. Coastal, stated that a fracture planned for 1,000 feet might reach 2,000 feet or just 400 feet.  (Source:


Sign Petition
Sign Petition
You have JavaScript disabled. Without it, our site might not function properly.

Privacy Policy

By signing, you accept Care2's Terms of Service.
You can unsub at any time here.

Having problems signing this? Let us know.