Fracking rules sent back to the drawing board, at least for now

Today the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) unanimously agreed to delay implementation of the controversial rules on Hydraulic Fracturing in Illinois proposed by Governor Quinn’s administration. Instead they sent the rules back to The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for changes. Some members felt the current proposed rules were in direct conflict with a carefully negotiated law signed into effect in 2013. JCAR is tasked with ensuring administrative rules comply with state statute.

"Two years of bipartisan cooperation went into the creation of the fracking bill and its approval was done through a bipartisan vote,” stated Rep. David Leitch. “Our job now, as members of JCAR, is to ensure that the rules brought to us by the IDNR fall within the scope of the approved legislation."

In 2013, the General Assembly passed and the governor signed legislation legalizing hydraulic fracturing in Illinois. The IDNR, under the direction of Governor Quinn, was to create rules for the implementation of the new law that would enable engineering crews to apply for drilling permits.

More than one year later, IDNR unveiled those rules, but instead of abiding by the law, members believe the rules go beyond the scope of the statute by creating policy instead of carrying out the intent of the approved law. “What DNR brought to us in some ways ignored the law and in many ways went way beyond the law,” said Leitch. "Our directive to DNR is to bring us fracking rules that conform to the law so we can implement it."

JCAR will meet again on October 14.
More Caucus Blog articles about hydraulic fracturing in Illinois:
Fracking approaches final hurdle in Illinois
Business, labor groups push for fracking rules
Gov. Quinn Signs Bill Allowing 'Fracking' in Illinois