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Environmental Groups Split on Illinois Fracking Bill

by Nick Surgey— June 5, 2013 – 7:25am

The Illinois legislature has passed a fracking regulatory bill, expected to be signed into law by the governor, hailed by some environmental groups as the “toughest in the country.” But other groups are highly critical, both of the bill and of the way some big environmental groups worked with legislators and industry to pass it into law.

The Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation Act (SB1715), which passed the Senate on June 1 as one of the final votes of the session, reins in unrestricted fracking to create a legal framework to permit and regulate fracking in the state. The bill has divided environmentalists, with some arguing that the regulations are set to encourage a fracking gold rush in Illinois.

Groups Had Called For Moratorium, Not Regulation

In recent years, some environmental groups in Illinois have been calling for a moratorium on fracking in the state, getting so far as having a bill in the Assembly in both 2012 and 2013. But the bills never made it out of committee. Until the new law comes into effect, fracking in Illinois is unregulated, meaning for the cost of a $100 permit an operator can set up and drill without having to meet standards set by the state. How much this happens is not actually known.

Follow this link to the complete original story at PRWatch:

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