A request by a group of southern Illinoisans for a preliminary injunction to block the state's fracking rules from being published was rejected Friday by a Madison County judge, who said the plaintiffs did not demonstrate that implementation of the rules would result in "immediate" harm.
The lawsuit filed by residents and environmentalists argued that the state's fracking rulemaking "violated mandatory statutory and administrative rulemaking procedures and is therefore invalid." They wanted a preliminary injunction that "directs the (Illinois Department of Natural Resources) to renew the rulemaking process" for the state's fracking regulatory act. Arguments involving the case were heard last Tuesday.
The Associated Press reports that the plaintiffs are currently weighing their next steps, which could include an appeal of Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder's decision.
"We will pursue it, one way or another," said an attorney for the plaintiffs Vito Mastrangelo, who added that the judge's decision "is very disappointing because we thought we made a very clear case that the (DNR) didn't follow statutory rules for rule-making. That means now there are invalid rules, the DNR will be implementing them and drillers will be applying for permits based on them."