The State of Illinois may be the first to establish strong rules to protect water and create safety standards for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations. 

From the Associated Press

“If approved by lawmakers, participants say, the rules would be the nation’s strictest. The Illinois model might also offer a template to other states seeking to carve out a middle ground between energy companies that would like free rein and environmental groups that want to ban the practice entirely.

‘The fact that Illinois got there,’ was significant, said Brian Petty, executive vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs at the International Association of Drilling Contractors. ‘Anytime you can bring the lion and lamb to the table, it’s a good thing. But it’s so highly politicized in lot of places’ that compromise could be difficult.

Fracking uses a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to crack and hold open thick rock formations, releasing trapped oil and gas. Combined with horizontal drilling, it allows access to formerly out-of-reach deposits and has allowed drillers to move closer to populated areas.”

Read the complete post at the link above.

*This post was corrected March 12th, 2013 to cite the complete Associated Press article