Alto Pass board approves ban on hydraulic fracturing

The Alto Pass Village Board last week approved an ordinance which bans hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within the corporate limits of the Union County community.

A local organization which is opposed to fracking reported that Alto Pass is the first municipality in Illinois to take such action.

The action by the Alto Pass Board came at a regular meeting of the board on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Alto Pass village president Don Rehmer said the ordinance was approved unanimously by the board.

Rehmer said the village board had been studying the issue for several months.

Concerns have been voiced about the potential impact of fracking on the village's water supply. Concerns also have been raised about the impact the process could have on tourism.

The action taken by the Alto Pass Board was praised by Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment, SAFE.

"Alto Pass is the first municipality in Illinois to pass a ban specifically prohibiting hydraulic fracturing within their jurisdiction," SAFE media relations director Annette McMichael stated in a news release.

McMichael said that SAFE "congratulates the board for taking such a strong stand to protect the people and the environment within their jurisdiction."

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