Thoughts On Fracking? Illinois Wants To Hear From You

Nov 15, 2013

Horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping massive amounts of water and chemicals underground, shattering rock, in order to release oil and natural gas.
Credit WSIU

Illinois took another step Friday toward allowing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The state has published draft rules on the controversial oil and gas extraction process, and it's looking for comments from the public.

Back in the spring, lawmakers touted Illinois' fracking law as the toughest in the country. It was the product of long negotiations between environmentalists and business groups.

But a big part of any law is what's left to regulation. Enter the Department of Natural Resources, which has published 150 pages of proposed rules on fracking.

The agency is seeking public comment, but not the kind that simply says "fracking is bad."

Spokesman Chris McCloud: "People are certainly allowed to make any comment that they wish. But in terms of the rule-making process, what we have to consider are actual comments based on a particular portion of the rule."

People can submit comments on DNR's website and at two public hearings: one Nov. 26 at the University of Illinois Chicago, the other Dec. 3 at Rend Lake College in Ina.

DNR says it'll be months before the regulatory process is complete.