Hydraulic Fracturing Rules Delayed in Illinois
As we previously reported, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) originally filed the draft rules for hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in November of 2013. An outpouring of public interest resulted in over 31,000 comments that the Agency had to sort through as part of the rule-making process. It took the Agency over 9 months to analyze and review the comments and on August 29, 2014 it filed the second draft of the rules. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules ("JCAR"), the panel charged with approval of the rules, had 45 days to review the second draft. As we anticipated, JCAR requested an additional 45-day period to review and approve the rules. What does that mean for businesses and local governmental bodies who are anxiously watching the rules in preparation of the application process? If JCAR does not approve the rules by November 15, 2014, the rule-making process could start all over again, further delaying the implementation of this law.
We continue to closely monitor this rule-making process. We are in the process of analyzing the comments, responses and corresponding changes that IDNR has published and will have additional information in the near future.