Senator Frerichs is working to ensure safe implementation of hydraulic fracturing, a process used to extract natural resources from reservoirs deep underground, in Illinois. His bill, SB 664, passed through the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee this week. Read the release after the jump.
From the Illinois State Senate
State Senator Michael Frerichs - 52nd Legislative District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 16, 2011
FOR MORE INFORMATION: RACHEL CRADDOCK (217) 782-0663
Senator Frerichs Institutes Safe Framework for Hydraulic Fracturing
SPRINGFIELD, IL –State Senator Michael Frerichs (D – Champaign) continues to work to ensure safe implementation of hydraulic fracturing in Illinois. Senator Frerichs led SB 664, a bill which allows the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to oversee hydraulic fracturing practices, through the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Conservation this week.
“Hydraulic fracturing can be a very effective means of accessing our natural resources, as long as it is done safely,” said Senator Frerichs. “I hope to put in place a framework by which drillers can do their job but the public is also protected.”
Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” is a process used to extract natural resources from reservoirs deep underground. In order to access the resources, stimulation fluids are injected into underground rock formations, causing them to fracture and release the natural resources within. The stimulation chemicals used in fracking pose many potential dangers including the threat of contaminated groundwater.
Senator Frerichs’ SB 664 requires oversight and regulation of fracking by DNR. Specifically, the bill limits and regulates the use of certain hazardous chemicals, like benzene and other BTEX compounds, in the extraction process. SB 664 also requires that drillers report to DNR on the reuse and disposal of these stimulant fluids.
Senator Frerichs commented, “We must be very careful when pumping chemicals into the ground. Transparency and full disclosure is essential in order to protect our groundwater. This bill codifies these common-sense protections.”
SB 664 amends the Illinois Oil and Gas Act, adding the state’s first laws on fracking practices. It creates a new section in the Act, Section (6.5), titled “Extraction of Natural Gas from Shale Using Hydraulic Fracturing.”