Alton, IL

Fracking Might Come to Illinois

Story by WBGZ Radio

Four years after former Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that cleared the way for fracking in Illinois, the state has received its first application for a drilling permit.

Woolsey Companies Inc. is looking to drill a well near Enfield in southeastern White County. The company is based in Wichita, Kansas.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Tim Schweizer says the original paperwork was received on May 22, but the company is expected to submit an amended application to correct a few problems. That will extend the window for officials to consider the proposal.

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“It appears now we’ll have until August 31 to [decide],” Schweizer said. “The Illinois Oil and Gas staff here at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be reviewing the permit application and will ultimately make the decision on whether it is approved or denied.”

In the meantime, the public is invited to weigh in with comments about the possible fracking site.

“Comments can be submitted in writing and mailed to the Department of Natural Resources here in Springfield,” Schweizer said. “There’s also an opportunity to comment online or you can send in email comments.”

The application comes after a protracted fight over rules and regulations for fracking in the state. Those weren’t finalized until more than a year after the law was signed. Since then, low oil prices have slowed the spread of fracking in the U.S.


Industry officials and other supporters say fracking is safe and will create much-needed jobs in southern Illinois. Opponents fear the practice will cause pollution and health problems and could damage the environment. 

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