SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is expected to release proposed rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling to a legislative panel.
Department officials say that rules to implement the state’s year-old hydraulic fracturing law will be submitted to the Illinois Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Friday.
The agency has come under increasing criticism from “fracking” supporters who had hoped that drilling could begin this summer. But a draft of the proposed rules released last year proved controversial, and was heavily criticized by environmentalists. The Department of Natural Resources has spent recent months sorting through more than 30,000 comments.
The panel has 45 days to approve the suggested rules, reject or change them. The department faces a November 15 deadline for the rules to be established.
Annette McMichael with Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment says SAFE and other anti-fracking groups are eager to see if their concerns regarding water quality, radioactivity and fracking’s impact on the New Madrid fault line are addressed.
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