Today the Illinois DNR released a new draft of proposed regulations on fracking for oil and gas, which the Sierra Club is in the process of reviewing. Fracking is a very dangerous practice that threatens the health, water supply, and air quality of residents, and Sierra Club is opposed to its use in Illinois. The residents of southern Illinois, and our entire state, are right to be alarmed at the many threats posed by this dangerous technology. Illinois must take all measures to protect citizens and the environment from these risks. The first draft of these regulations, released in late 2013, were woefully inadequate in many areas, and thousands of citizens from across Illinois packed public hearings and submitted public comments demanding major improvements.
Hopefully IDNR heard the voices of the overwhelming majority of Illinois’ citizens who oppose fracking, and demanded that the state go back to the drawing board. While no amount of regulation can make dangerous fracking safe, Illinois citizens deserve a voice in permitting decisions that will affect them and the ability to hold those who would poison our air and water accountable.
The new draft rules, and links to public comments submitted on the previous draft, are available at: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/OilandGas/Pages/PublicHearingTranscriptsAndComments.aspx