Ruling OK’s release of fracking rules

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A preliminary injunction to stop the publication of rules for horizontal hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in Illinois was denied by a judge in Madison County Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

A group of southern Illinois residents had filed a lawsuit and requested a preliminary injunction after the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) voted to approve rules for permits on Nov. 6. The group contended that allowing the rules to be released would cause “irreparable harm” to their land if fracking were to begin. In rejecting the injunction, the judge noted residents failed to show that “irreparable harm” would happen, the Tribune reported. (The lawsuit challenging the rules has not been decided yet.)

The judge’s decision allows oil and gas companies to apply for fracking permits in Illinois after registering and paying a fee, according to previous news reports.

Prior to the JCAR vote, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources had collected more than 30,000 comments from the public before proposing a set of rules to JCAR, previous news reports stated.  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.

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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