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Union County

The Village of Alto Pass has enacted a ban ordinance on fracking.  Alto Pass is the first municipality to specifically prohibit fracking within its borders, the city of Carlyle already having passed a ban on oil/gas drilling at large.

The Union County Board has signed a letter in support of a state-wide moratorium on high-volume fracking.

Here is the SAFE Press Release explaining more details regarding the decision of Alto Pass to protect its citizens and its future:


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

12-13-12/For Immediate Release

 Alto Pass Signs Fracking Ban

The Village of Alto Pass, Illinois signed a ban ordinance to prohibit hydraulic fracking within the city limits Tuesday evening at their monthly meeting. After two months of investigation and education concerning the risks associated with fracking the ordinance passed unanimously.

Joel Murray, retired from his job as a plant operator at a local government facility, is currently a Village Trustee. He voiced concerns about surface spills and contamination issues that he has seen in the news.

The small, rural community joined with Cobden, IL water district this fall. Murray feels very strongly about the potential for pollution to our local aquifers and community water supply and believes that fracking and all the risks that accompany the industrial process are “just not worth the risk.”

“I don’t want to see our aquifers endangered or our lands damaged at all for natural gas,” says Jason Fox, a local business man and Village Trustee. Village President Don Rehmer has stated on several occasions that aquifers, as well as pollution, do not know city limits or county lines.

Alto Pass is the first municipality in Illinois to pass a ban specifically prohibiting Hydraulic Fracturing within their jurisdiction.

The local grassroots organization SAFE, congratulates the board for taking such a strong stand to protect the people and the environment within their jurisdiction.

“We are very protective of where we live and want to maintain our quality of small town life, ” stated Trustee Murray. “We know we are a small community but we’re proud to take the lead, and hope that other cities in southern Illinois will soon follow.”

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