Legislation requires study of infrastructure for frack sand mining operations

Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) to study the effect of frack sand mining operations coming online in and around LaSalle County was approved March 19 by the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

“Because frack sand mining has been and continues to be a huge economic boom for our area, we must make sure our infrastructure can handle it,” Rezin said. “The trucks and equipment used for these mines are big and heavy. Our roads and bridges must be in good shape so we can continue to safely transport different materials and goods, and also make sure our families using the same roads and bridges get to their destinations safely.”

Rezin’s Senate Bill 1803 says the Illinois Department of Transportation must conduct a study on the effects of agricultural, manufacturing, mining, and other industrial operations in LaSalle, DeKalb, Kendall, Grundy, Livingston, Woodford, Marshall, Putnam, Bureau, and Lee counties. The Agency would then submit a report to lawmakers by Jan. 1, 2017, that includes:

impacts of road usage and traffic pattern disruptions by sand mine trucking companies;

potential road improvement plans to alleviate the additional highway traffic caused by sand mine operations;

potential for adding new railway traffic caused by sand mine operations.

“Frack sand mining operations will only continue to increase in Illinois due to our abundance of resources,” Rezin said. “We must take a proactive approach now to make sure these counties have the infrastructure and funding they need to support the operations and the local communities’ needs.”

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” is the process of using sand, water and sometimes gas mixtures to break into the underground rock formations hitting new oil and natural gas fields.

Senate Bill 1803 now returns to the full Senate for further consideration.

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