Please if you have children, move away from any fracking site immediately.
Get on the free bus from downtown Chicago to go to the Effingham public hearing on the lousy fracking rules on Monday, Dec 16th (leaves around 2pm and comes back around 12mn) the registration form for this bus is here: http://goo.gl/trFyMl
Today, Saturday, 12/14/13, is Day 30 of Comments to IDNR on Fracking. Today we want to talk about whether fracking is going to make you and those you love sick. We hope you’ll make a comment.
Topic: Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions
Section 1-53 of the regulatory bill requires that fracking operations be conducted in a “manner that will protect the public health and safety and prevent pollution.” But fracking is inherently dangerous and polluting. Highly toxic Volatile Organic Compound or VOC emissions are generated by the fracking process and can cause irreversible neurological and or respiratory damage to children, adults, and other living things.
VOCs have scientifically been shown to cause asthma, cancer, and severe illnesses. In extractive states, the largest contributor to VOCs is usually the oil and gas industry. This is the case in Colorado, where there have been many reported cases of illnesses from fracking pollution since the boom began. Ozone-forming air pollution measured in Colorado is up to twice the amount that government regulators have calculated should exist.
Illinois can expect the same once fracking begins if the rules are not amended because, as currently drafted, the rules contain no best practice standards for mitigating VOCs. In fact, Sec 245.900e of the Rules allow companies to be wholly exempt from the regulation of runaway natural gas and hydrocarbon fluids if the regulation isn’t “cost effective” or if it is “economically unreasonable.”
IDNR completely avoids defining “cost effectiveness” or “economically unreasonableness” – essentially allowing companies to define these terms for themselves. And we can assume that companies will make sure that they define it to their own benefit.
A cost/benefit analysis that only calculates private costs of companies while ignoring the social costs on the people and the environment will result in privatizing profits for big corporations while socializing losses for taxpayers, adding an unjust burden to local and state governments.
Solution: The Department must quantify the cost of various kinds of emissions utilizing independent scientific studies on this issue. Included in the quantification must be the health and environmental costs of emissions relative to the costs of capturing/reducing emissions. Once quantified, the Department must enact rules that carry out the legislative intent of the General Assembly and ensure that fracking operations in Illinois will be conducted in a “manner that will protect the public health and safety and prevent pollution”
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