GROW-IL, a coalition of labor, business and industry organizations, is urging Illinois officials to hasten the rulemaking process for fracking in the state.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has not yet finalized the administrative rules for the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn in June of 2013, that will allow fracking to start in the state.
“If Illinois doesn’t get its act together, companies are going to decide to invest elsewhere, and we’re going to miss the boat,” Dan Eichholz with the Illinois Petroleum Council told the State Journal-Register.
Mark Denzler with the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association added, “As of Tuesday, it will be 400 days, and we’ve yet to see a final set of rules."
An IDNR spokesman told the newspaper that the agency is "making significant progress” on the fracking rules.
“The revised rules will be submitted so they can be enacted on schedule this fall," said agency spokesman Tim Schweizer. "I think the statute says it all has to be done by November 15.”
IDNR received some 35,000 public comments on the state's proposed rules for the controversial horizontal oil and gas drilling technology. The agency, Schweizer said, “is working very hard to review all of the public comments we received on the first draft. Those are important in considering what revisions need to be made."
GROW-IL plans to issue the findings of its own analysis of the fracking comments soon.
“I think you will find and be amazed at the lack of the number of people that submitted comments,” Denzler told the newspaper.