WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Fracking Rules Released

Aug 31, 2014

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has come out with a set of highly-anticipated rules that could finally lead to hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Groups with a vested interest in fracking -- namely drillers looking to get in on the business, and environmentalists who have disdain for it – said they're still evaluating the new proposal, which contains a great deal of technical writing.

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting a high volume of water and chemicals into shale rock to get to oil and natural gas underneath.
Credit Wiki Commons

But initial reactions are predictably mixed.

Industry representatives said the rules overreach. They preferred the first draft.

Environmentalists said it's an improvement on DNR's first try but not enough to make fracking safe.

DNR Director Marc Miller the agency took 30,000 comments -- from both sides -- into account in drafting the plan.

“We can provide a strong environmental protection and a strong regulatory program while also providing jobs,” Miller said.

Now, it's up to a bipartisan legislative commission to give the final OK on the rules.

It’s believed there are reserves of oil and natural gas in southern Illinois.