SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has released a long-awaited set of proposed rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling that supporters hope could bring an economic boost to southern Illinois.
The lengthy report follows months of delays and complaints by both industry groups and environmentalists over the process to draft rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Industry officials say southern Illinois has rich deposits of natural gas, but a draft of the rules was heavily criticized by environmentalists. The department has since been criticized by fracking supporters, who'd hoped that drilling permits would be issued this summer.
The report was given to the 12-member Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which has 45 days to act. If no action is taken, the rules can take effect.
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