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Registration Opens For Fracking Companies

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

Companies that are looking to perform hydraulic gas drilling in the State of Illinois can now register with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources--however actual permits to commence the drilling won't be available for some time.

The process of high-volume oil and gas drilling, commonly known as "fracking", involves using a high pressure mixture of water, chemicals, and sand to crack rock formations deep underground to release oil and gas. The Vice President of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, Mike Denzler, says that he expects permits to become available beginning around the first quarter of 2014.

Fracking has been criticized by environmental groups, fearing it will pollute and damage water sources. Denzler says Illinoisans have nothing to worry about.

"The primary focus of everybody negotiating this is to protect the land, water, and air. Illinois has arguably the strongest regulations when it comes to fracking" Denzler said.

Denzler says that companies will be required to test the water supply before, during, and after fracturing in order to prevent contamination.

Companies who want to begin the drilling will have have to register 30 days before applying for a permit, which will only be granted after a set time period where members of the public will be allowed to comment on the proposed permit. Companies must have permits for each well they plan to operate. 

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