Proposed hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") legislation in Illinois would impose strict standards

Proposed hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") legislation in Illinois would impose strict standards

Source: http://www.lexology.com, February 27, 2013
By: Edward V. Walsh, III, Reed Smith LLP

Proposed hydraulic fracturing legislation in Illinois, with strong bi-partisan support and the backing of Illinois Governor Quinn, would impose strict controls on fracking companies relative to most other states where fracking occurs, including chemical disclosure requirements and in the case of water pollution, a presumption of liability.

The Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (H.B. 2615) grants authority to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to write rules, grant permits, inspect fracking sites, and enforce the proposed law. Although energy companies are not currently engaged in fracking in Illinois, a number of companies have expressed interest in, and have acquired drilling rights in, the New Albany shale deposits region of southeastern Illinois.

The proposed legislation also provides:

  • citizen private right of action rules;
  • notice, comment, and hearing rules allowing for public input when fracking permits are issued;
  • strict setback rules in connection with nearby water sources;
  • well construction standards;
  • waste fluid management rules,
  • including wastewater testing;
  • water monitoring requirements;

The bill reportedly has the support of both the business community and environmental groups, and is expected to pass.

To read the full bill, please click here.

 

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