Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
Fracking Registration Now Open in Illinois
CARBONDALE -- Companies that want to conduct fracking in Illinois can now start registering with the state, but it will be a few months before permits are handed out, as legislators are still working on rules for the new law.
Meanwhile, a journalist who covered the impact of fracking in Pennsylvania told her story on the SIU Campus.
"As a photojournalist, I wanted to show people images of what's happening and the people that are affected," said Julia Rendleman.
Rendleman took photos at the Woodlands in Pennsylvania, a small community 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. Fracking started there in 2011 and residents started to get sick. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter says that doesn't mean drilling was to blame.
"It's very hard to establish that casual link between the oil and gas industry, fracking, and polluted ground water," explained Rendleman.
The SIU graduate says drinking water in the area may have already been polluted and fracking isn't necessarily dangerous, but people should learn as much as they can.
There are 200 homes in the Woodlands, 40 of those families experienced health problems. Their water is brown, it smells, and is undrinkable. Many turned to bottled water to drink, clean, and bathe, an image that stands out to Rendleman.
"When I saw them, we got to a place where they were comfortable with me and they allowed me to be there to take pictures of them showering outside," said Rendleman.
The drilling industry says fracking is safe and Illinois has passed what leaders call the toughest fracking regulations in the nation in hopes of protecting the environment while creating jobs
How it'll affect southern Illinois is unclear. Rendleman says what happened in another state, may not happen here.
"I'm just telling the story of one community and that doesn't mean that that is going to replicate it self everywhere that there is fracking," Rendleman said.
This is an ongoing story in Pennsylvania. Rendleman will continue to follow the people in the Woodlands.
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Humidity: 68 %