The rules on fracking in Illinois have been approved—but the rules themselves are remaining secret until later this month. The regulations were approved Thursday by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, but the final rules won’t be made public until they’re published in the Illinois Register, the state’s official document of new rules put in place by government agencies.
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State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) voted for the rules despite opposing fracking, saying the committee’s role is not to block laws that have already been passed. He says opponents of fracking will have to take their case to the General Assembly. “That was tried. I was a supporter of that effort. That effort failed,” Lang said, “and so now, as a member of JCAR, we’re bound to follow the statute and uphold the legislative process.”
The rules were passed without any debate, which confused anti-fracking environmentalists at the Chicago hearing, some of whom had driven up from Southern Illinois. This was the third attempt to draft rules regarding hydraulic fracturing. The first draft was criticized by environmental groups as not being restrictive enough, while the second was labeled too restrictive by oil and gas companies.