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by Ellyn Fortino
4:30pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Environmental Group Blasts IDNR For Paying 'Industry Front Groups' To Review Draft Fracking Rules

An environmental group is up in arms after learning that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) apparently paid more than $35,000 to oil and gas "industry front groups" to review draft rules related to the state's Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, which Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law in June.

IDNR released its first draft of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act's administrative rules on November 15. The agency is currently weighing some 35,000 public comments it received on the state's proposed rules for the controversial horizontal oil and gas drilling technology. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the practice of releasing Earth's natural gas by horizontally drilling with a high-pressure mixture of water, sand or gravel, and chemicals to create cracks in deep layers of shale rock.