Illinois Lawmakers Approve Hydraulic Fracturing Legislation

on June 07, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Prices Help Drive Increase of Midwest Oil Exploration

Illinois’ Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation Act establishes strict environmental protections and sets the stage for significant economic development in the state.

On May 31, 2013, Illinois Senate passed the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation Act (SB 1715) by a vote of 52-3, one day after it passed the House by a vote of 108-9.  The legislation, developed with input from industry, labor groups, environmentalists, and agriculturists, contains some of the strictest hydraulic fracturing regulations.  The approval sets the stage for new jobs and economic development in the state, particularly the southern region, which has been beset by a waning coal industry.

Among the key provisions, the legislation requires public disclosure of chemicals used in the fracturing process and compulsory testing of water before and after the process.  The legislation establishes a task force to implement hydraulic fracturing regulations and authorizes the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to adopt necessary rules to fulfill the intent of the Act.  Drillers will submit a report to DNR within 60 days of completion of hydraulic fracturing operations and will be held liable for water pollution.

The legislation has met strong resistance from opponents due to concerns over pollution and depletion of water resources.  Two bills aimed to impose a two-year hydraulic fracturing moratorium failed to pass.  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn applauded the approval, underscoring its strong economic potential and strict environmental protections.


The United States Geological Survey estimates show that the Illinois Basin, which covers parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee, contains 214 million barrels of oil and 4.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  The New Albany shale play (Devonian to Mississippian) is considered the primary source of hydrocarbons in the Illinois basin.  A recent report from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce estimates that the New Albany shale play has the potential to create approximately 47,000 jobs per year and $9 billion in economic impact.

June 3, 2013 via Energy Solutions Forum

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