The Shawnee Group of the Sierra Club is trying to help people get prepared for fracking in southern Illinois.
The organization is offering baseline water testing to landowners who have wells on their property in Saline, Hamilton, White and Wayne counties where the controversial oil and gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing is expected to begin this summer. Shawnee Group spokesperson Terri Treacy says they're doing this because drinking water contamination has occurred in other states where fracking has already taken place. The water testing will take place on June 16th at the Harrisburg Township Park and on June 23rd at the Main Street gazebo in Wayne City. Both events will run from 9 a.m. to Noon. Treacy says those interested in having their water tested must contact her in advance to receive instructions on how to properly obtain a sample. Her phone number is 618-521-1030.
Treacy says the Shawnee Group also hopes lawmakers will spend part of their special session this summer reconsidering a bill related to hydraulic fracturing. Legislators adjourned their spring session last week without taking action to regulate the controversial drilling process. The bill would have placed a two year moratorium on fracking as well as set up a task force to study the environmental impact of the process.