After months of delays, Illinois lawmakers are getting a look at revised rules on hydraulic fracturing.
Fracking, as it's commonly known, is a controversial oil and gas drilling technique using chemicals, suspended in water, being shot into the ground. Environmentalists against fracking claim the process leads to water contamination and other pollution that irrevocably damages the surrounding area. Proponents say it's a cheap, quick, and effective way of extracting oil and gas that will lead to more jobs and decrease the country's dependence on foreign energy sources.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Friday released a revised set of guidelines for fracking in the state. The proposal emphasizes that oil and gas companies should disclose all chemicals and water amounts used in fracking, improved transparency in letting the public know when water pollution happens, and greater environmental protection.
The first draft of rules, released last fall, drew heavy criticism from both oil and gas companies and environmentalists. IDNR says the initial policies also garnered a record level of public participation, with more than 31,000 comments made by members of the public, units of local government, and environmental and industry organizations.
The revised rules are now in the possession of the Illinois General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which is displaying them for a second public notice period. JCAR has a maximum of 90 days to consider the proposales. The rules have to be adopted by Nov. 14.