Save Our Illinois Land is a coalition of community members and landowners across the state that is concerned about the impact of pipeline infrastructure on Illinois’ land, waterways and our fellow Illinoisans. Illinois has become a hub of pipeline infrastructure. Just one example is Enbridge Line 61 that was built in 2009 and runs from near Rockford through Boone, DeKalb, LaSalle and Livingston Counties to Flanagan.
In its 2014 Fourth Quarter Earnings statement, Enbridge announced that a Line 61 ‘twin’ would be an expansion opportunity. We are working to alert and support landowners as they contemplate dealing with impending requests for additional easements to build more pipelines.
Individual landowners don’t have much bargaining capacity individually. Landowners who organize will be better able to prevent eminent domain proceedings and require stronger safety provisions and insurance from the pipeline company.
To halt permitting and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the Great Lakes Region while meeting the energy demands through a transition to renewable energy and efficiency.
We object to this pipeline expansion for several reasons:
- Easements may be forcibly taken from landowners who do not want a pipeline through their property. Why are we granting eminent domain rights to a foreign company who will get all the profits and none of the risk?
- Pipeline construction results in the compaction of soil and the mixing of fertile soils with less fertile or infertile sublayers. This is a problem that may not be resolved with multiple attempts at deep tilling.
- This can reduce crop production for years and may not be sufficiently compensated for in easement agreements.
- Drainage problems include old tile systems with outlets and inlets blocked, silted, broken, undermined and unrepaired, while new tiles can be crushed or nonexistent.
- A spill could destroy acres of prime farmland and can never fully be cleaned up. Spills that enter our waterways foul them as a drinking water source, kill wildlife and impact our enjoyment of affected outdoor spaces.
- The accompanying venting of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals (used to dilute the product for pumping through pipelines) can kill silently and from a distance.
- Abandonment of pipelines leave landowners to deal with future impacts of aging and deteriorating infrastructure.