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More than 140 sign petition that calls for ban on fracking




NORMAL — More than 140 residents signed a petition Saturday that calls for a ban on fracking, the method of extracting oil or gas from subterranean rocks.

Illinois People’s Action, a nonprofit group, hosted a seminar at First United Methodist Church in Normal that brought together speakers and advocates who are in favor of a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, in Illinois.

According to Bill Rau, professor emeritus at Illinois State University, it would take about 70 such wells to drain Lake Bloomington, one of the two sources of water for the city — the other is Evergreen Lake.

Rau, one of the speakers on Saturday, added that if fracking procedures were to reach Central Illinois, water streams, creeks and aquifers — including the Mahomet Aquifer that is the water source for much of Central Illinois, including Normal — would be at risk.

“The big issue is where the input water will come from.” Rau said during his presentation. “Ask your politicians that.”

Currently, there are no proposals have been introduced to allow the procedure to begin in Central Illinois. The group’s goal was to begin discussions on the topic and express the group’s desire for a ban.

Besides disseminating information about fracking, IPA also succeeded in getting commitments from five of seven McLean County Board members who said they would work with the organization to support a fracking ban, said IPA organizer Dawn Dannenbring. Two other board members in attendance said they hadn’t decided their positions yet. t

Other issues with hydraulic fracturing include the potential for toxic carcinogens to be released into the area’s drinking supply, an increase in greenhouse emission and a crumbling of roads from heavy machinery, said Rau.

Marisa Corradetti and Taylor Primrose attended the session for an environmental studies class the two are taking.

“We came in here not knowing anything,” said Primrose after the presentation, which included a showing of the film, “The Sky is Pink” by filmmaker Josh Fox. “But the word needs to get out.”

Barbara Heyl, of Bloomington, said she is involved in helping gather petitions and contacting local elected officials regarding the group’s goal to ban the procedure. She said it’s imperative to let officials know the health risks.

“Our freshwater is very previous,” said Heyl. “We only have 3 percent of water that is freshwater, drinkable water. If it gets permanently contaminated, it can never, ever in history be cleared.”


November 10, 2012 7:37 pm  •  By Karina Gonzalez | kgonzalez@pantagraph.com

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