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Local Control News Release

NEWS RELEASE

1-24-13

For Immediate Release

Written & Submitted by: Annette McMichael/SAFE Media Relations Coordinator

217-273-1000/am@greenmediaservice.com www.dontfractureillinois.net

LOCAL CONTROL A KEY ISSUE IN FRACKING DEBATE

What rights will counties & municipalities have to decide how best to deal with issues which will likely arise in the wake of high-volume horizontal fracking operations?

SAFE (Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment) asked this question of county boards throughout Southern Illinois.  On January 18th SAFE sent information on local control issues and options to over 100 Southern Illinois county board members.  Perhaps the most important areas of concern are water usage and waste management.

Local counties and municipalities should be able to prioritize water usage during a drought (giving residential and agriculture use priority over industry). Local governments should also have input in the waste management system to dispose of millions of gallons of radioactive, toxic waste. Road usage and emergency services are also an important part of the fracking planning process. A complete list of issues to consider is available at http://www.dontfractureillinois.net/letter-and-issues-list-safe-sent-to-southern-illinois-counties/ .

A regulatory bill for high-volume hydraulic fracturing is currently being drafted in Springfield.  Language which could have offered some assurance for local authority for counties was pulled from the bill. SAFE maintains, and stands ready to defend, that the Illinois Constitution and Counties Code give each county clear authority to protect their resources and ensure the health & safety of their citizens.

According to SAFE co-founder, Liz Patula, ‘No matter how anyone feels about the fracking issue, taking away the rights of local governments to govern themselves is contrary to the principles on which our great country was founded.’  County officials who are concerned about having the clear authority to protect resources and residents in their counties are encouraged to contact the Illinois Association of County Board Members to voice those concerns.

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