Recently, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) issued revised rules to regulate high-volume horizontal fracturing for oil and gas, or “fracking.” The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) is now considering IDNR’s proposal, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for the health of Illinois residents facing threats to their drinking water, air, and communities.
It falls to Illinois and other states to protect themselves from the dangers of fracking because, during the Bush-Cheney administration, the oil and gas industries were exempted from basic clean water, clean air, and other environmental laws. That means that there is no basic level of protection for states to build on when it comes to fracking, despite its unique risks to public health.
Fracking in other states has been linked to a wide range of health concerns from respiratory problems to skin rashes and other medical problems, including birth defects and lower birth weight…
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