CHICAGO – Illinois House Bill 2615 would regulate a controversial method of oil and gas drilling known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking. The legislation is unusual because it was negotiated with the help of industry and environmental groups. Here are some of the provisions:
— All fracking wastewater must be stored in closed tanks.
— Fracking chemicals must be disclosed publicly, with limits on information that may be deemed a trade secret.
— Citizens may request a public hearing on proposed permits and may appeal permits that have been granted.
— The state may deny permits during droughts.
— Energy companies must test groundwater before and after fracking to identify potential contamination.
— Drillers are presumed liable for contamination that appears near their operations after fracking begins.
— Injection of diesel fuel is banned, and nearby abandoned wells must be plugged.
— Venting and flaring of natural gas is restricted.
— A detailed application must be posted on a state website.
— Fracking wells may not be drilled within 1,500 feet of a public water supply intake; within 500 feet of any residence, school, hospital or existing drinking water well or spring; within 750 feet of a nature preserve; or within 300 feet of a waterway.