Stories of Hope

Illinois People’s Action

Bloomington, Illinois

The Issue: Potential risks from fracking threatens low-income communities.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the process of injecting sand, water, and chemicals at a high pressure and volume deep underground into shale rock has long been a controversial topic due to the possible risks associated with it. It also most commonly happens near low-income communities, which leaves the poor and vulnerable at most risk for suffering from water pollution, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and other environmental risks associated with fracking. When the Illinois Department of Natural Resources was tasked to write and enforce legislation that would allow fracking to take place in the state, the Illinois People’s Action (IPA) banned together to ensure everyone, even people in low-income communities, would have a voice in the rule-writing process.

Their Impact: An entire state is coming together to ensure their voices were heard and their communities were protected.

IPA organized a massive online campaign and brought over 400 people to public hearings regarding the fracking rules. While hydraulic fracturing is now legally permissible in Illinois, IPA continues to organize its efforts to engage community participation in promoting a healthy, clean energy environment.

Don Carlson, the Executive Director of IPA, stated that the support of the CCHD allows “community organizations that are on the ground to make change happen” in the work for justice, equity, and accountability.