Chicago protesters to Illinois Department of Natural Resources: “Not One Fracking Permit in IL!”

Chicagoland stands up on the International Day of Action to ban Hydraulic Fracturing; Street Theatre and Creative Visuals illustrate dangerous impacts of Fracking in Illinois

CHICAGO, IL – Today, students and community members across Chicagoland will gather to pressure the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to hold three public hearings on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Protesters demand that the IDNR deny applications for permits that they believe will compromise the health and safety of residents throughout Illinois.

Protesters will gather today, Friday, October 18, at 4:30 p.m., at the Thompson Center, 100 W Randolph Street, in Chicago.

Hundreds gathered as part of the Global Frackdown, an annual international day of action to promote clean, renewable energy over the dirty fossil fuels extracted by fracking. Over 300 advocacy groups are participating worldwide, with the Chicago rally coordinated by Chicagoland Against Fracking and Food and Water Watch. With more than 200 actions across six continents, citizens across the world know that fracking threatens our most basic environmental resources.

The IDNR has been drafting rules under the framework of the IL fracking regulatory bill signed by Gov. Quinn this past June. Much controversy surrounds the fracking process, in which a toxic cocktail of water, sand and chemicals is injected at high pressures about a mile underground to create fissures that release oil and natural gas. Fracking generates enormous quantities of dangerous and potentially radioactive wastewater, and has been linked extensively to groundwater contamination, air pollution, and increased seismic activity.

The regulatory bill has met opposition from a multitude of groups across Illinois.  Despite attempts to garner inclusion in IDNR’s regulatory process, citizens have repeatedly been ignored. “The IDNR clearly serves the interests of the fossil fuel industry. They have repeatedly refused to include us in the regulatory process, proving that they favor corporate profit over the health and safety of IL communities,” says Grace Pai, a Public Policy student at the University of Chicago who participated in a Springfield meeting with the IDNR last month.

Speakers: Raven Roberts, American Indian Center; Beverly Walters, Citizens Act to Protect Our Water; Tyler Hansen, Chicagoland Against Fracking; Jessica Fujan, Food & Water Watch

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