Fracking Approved in White County; Opponents Say Fight's Not Over

Sep 1, 2017

A controversial drilling operation in White County has gotten the go-ahead from the state, but opponents say they're not done with their fight.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources this week approved Woolsey Operating Company's application for a horizontal fracking well in White County.

But Rich Whitney with Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment - or SAFE - says the IDNR didn't keep the public or environment's best interests in mind during the approval process.
"They issued three different deficiency letters, basically told them what they were looking for and how to meet it. And the last compliance with it occurred at a time when the public had no opportunity to comment or otherwise critique the application."
Whitney says SAFE and other groups are still exploring their options going forward. He says that could include appealing the IDNR's decision in court.

Illinois approved fracking regulations several years ago, but this is the first operation to seek approval. Proponents of fracking say it is safe, and will bring more jobs to the region. Opponents say it poses significant threats to the environment and public safety.