Prairie Research Institute University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ISGS Special Publications

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Special Report 9 Cover

Special Report 9  Observations on Class VI Permitting: Lessons Learned and Guidance Available

Bob Van Voorhees, Sallie Greenberg, and Steve Whittaker, 2021, 23 p. Print on demand.

This report highlights some of the important lessons learned through the permit application and issuance process for Class VI Underground Injection Control permits to conduct the Illinois Basin – Decatur and Illinois Industrial Sources CCS Projects in Decatur, Illinois, as well as four Class VI permits issued to the FutureGen 2.0 project for wells that were not constructed. The report also draws on lessons learned from the uncompleted permit application processes. The lessons learned by the permit applicants as well as the permit application reviewers and permit writers reflect the novelty of geologic sequestration permitting under the Class VI regulations promulgated in December 2010 and the parallel challenges of developing, applying, and complying with the policies and procedures necessary to implement those regulations. Lessons learned should help future applicants and permit issuers understand what is necessary and sufficient to comply with the requirements. The lessons also show how early discussions between applicants and reviewers can start permitting on target and how communication throughout the permitting process can avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary delays.

Starved Rock Map

Special Report 8  Geology of Starved Rock State Park and Surrounding Area, La Salle County, Illinois

Jason F. Thomason, 2020, one 24"×12" map sheet. Print on demand.

This map was created to provide visitors to Starved Rock State Park with a deeper understanding of the geology that contributes to the natural beauty of the park. Exposed rocks that protrude from the bluffs within the park and along the Illinois River reveal sediments that once accumulated millions of years ago on the floor of a shallow sea, along ocean beaches, and on deltas built by massive rivers discharging into the ocean. Then, only thousands of years ago during the most recent ice age, the canyons formed as glacial meltwaters flowed through the river valley and began to erode the landscape. At times, violent torrents of meltwater from nearby melting glaciers sent water rushing through the Illinois River valley, widening and deepening the canyons. This action of water on rock over thousands of years created the unique bluffs, canyons, waterfalls, and river valleys for which the park is famous, and these same geologic processes continue to shape the landscape today.


Special Report 7 Water Quality in the Mahomet Aquifer: Chemical Indicators of Brine Migration and Mixing

Samuel V. Panno and Walton R. Kelly, 2020 Print on Demand

Bedrock formations within the Illinois Basin contain concentrated brines with unique chemical fingerprints that can be used to identify the geologic ages of formations from which the brines originate. Using chloride/bromide mass ratios, it is possible to identify the source of errant brines that may have entered wells screened within an aquifer. Recent questions about the origin of methane gas entering wells screened within the Mahomet aquifer may be addressed if the gas is associated with even a minute amount of a telltale brine. Here we present a methodology for identifying the source of brines seeping into the Mahomet aquifers. This is possible because chloride concentrations and chloride/bromide ratios within the eastern half of the Mahomet aquifer are extremely low (about 1 mg/L and 100, respectively). For comparison, today’s rainwater and snowmelt typically contain less than 0.2 mg/L of chloride, with chloride/bromide mass ratios of about 100. Basin brines can have chloride concentrations of more than 100,000 mg/L and chloride/bromide mass ratios ranging from 200 to 800. Consequently, the seepage of brine into the Mahomet aquifer should be traceable to its formation of origin by using chloride/bromide ratios.


Special Report 6   Geologic Cross Sections of Quaternary Deposits Across the Manlove Gas Storage Field Area, Champaign County, Illinois 

Andrew J. Stumpf. 2018. 7 pp., including 2 fold-out cross sections

Special Report 6 was developed by the Illinois State Geological Survey to assist the Prairie Research Institute’s Natural Gas Working Group (NGWG), the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), and other stakeholder groups in understanding the local geologic deposits in northwestern Champaign County. The cross sections depict the geologic materials encountered between the land surface and the buried bedrock surface. These are the first detailed representations of Quaternary deposits that overlie the Manlove gas storage field.

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Special Report 5 Construction Aggregates and Silica Sand in the Economy of Illinois 

Subhash B. Bhagwat

This report was commissioned to determine trends in the aggregate industry in Illinois and the economic effects of the industry on other businesses and services in the state. The innovative approach taken here captures the value of the industry to the state better than traditional approaches by including the economic contributions of the aggregate industry (1) to the industry itself, (2) to businesses that provide goods and services to the industry, (3) and to businesses and social services in the communities where the employees live and work. This method provides a fuller picture of the economic impact by showing how, if the aggregate industry reduces production, as occurred after the economic downturn of 2008, effects on other businesses are unavoidable. This report is the first to include direct, indirect, and induced economic effects in addition to traditional measures to provide a complete, balanced measure of the economic significance of the aggregate industry in the state of Illinois.

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