New hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", regulations have been adopted by state lawmakers in Illinois for high-volume oil and gas drilling. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a 12-member committee, have yet to make the final rules public, and not expected to release the information until November 15.
The state passed legislation to allow fracking over a year ago, but progress has been slowed significantly by vocal environmental groups. As a result, some Illinois landowners have sued the state for failing to implement regulations in a timely manner. Pro-energy industry parties have also voiced complaints about the speed of the decision.
"We believe the extra time it took for the negotiation process will maintain the practical sensibilities that will allow hydraulic fracturing to create jobs and stimulate the Illinois economy," Brad Richards, executive vice president of the Illinois Oil and Gas Association told the Chicago Tribune. "The labor, environmental and industry groups that worked together for three years to draft this legislation are excited to finally see the implementation of these rules and get the skilled workforce of Illinois working again."
The source reports that oil and gas drillers will be able to apply for permits in the coming months. The application must include information on the location of the well and the drilling method to be used, as well as the amount of chemicals and fluids that will be involved in the extraction process.
Permits must also include information that addresses a number of environmentalist's concerns, such as waste containment strategies and well construction details. The Department of Natural Resources will then have 60 days to approve or reject the application.
Environmental consultants can help organization interested in joining the Illinois oil and gas industry to do so efficiently and with the proper environmental considerations in place.