Fracking may soon begin in Illinois as rules approved

More than one year after a law was passed to regulate hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in Illinois, the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) voted Thursday in Chicago to approve rules for permits.

See the Chicago Tribune story.

During the past year, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources collected more than 30,000 comments from the public before proposing a set of rules to JCAR. But JCAR did not vote on these rules in previous meetings as oil and gas companies asked for input.

After registering with the state, energy companies can apply for fracking permits and pay a fee. Among the details companies may have to disclose during the permit process are: when and where they want to drill and precautions they will take for preventing groundwater pollution.

Environmental groups have advocated for strict regulations, while energy companies have stated that too strict regulations may discourage companies from drilling in Illinois and prevent the creation of jobs. Some landowners have voiced frustration over the process because delays have prevented them from selling or leasing land to oil and gas drilling companies.

Fracking is a method of extracting oil and natural gas from shale deposits deep underground through the use of chemicals, water, sand and pressure.

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