Illinois governor signs tough fracking regulations into law - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Illinois governor signs tough fracking regulations into law

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:13:55 GMT
    Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:54:05 GMT
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
  • Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Friday, August 1 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-08-01 19:58:48 GMT
    Alpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 minersAlpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 miners
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...

DON BABWIN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday signed into law the nation's strictest regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling.

"This new law will unlock the potential for thousands of jobs in Southern Illinois and ensure that our environment is protected," Quinn said in a news release announcing his widely expected signature on the bill that he pushed for and that the Legislature passed overwhelmingly a few weeks ago.

The new law establishes rules that oil and gas companies must follow during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack underground rock formations and release oil and natural gas. Companies will be required to disclose chemicals and to test water before and after drilling as well as hold the companies liable for contamination.

Opponents of the legislation — who unsuccessfully pushed a 2-year moratorium to allow more time to study the environmental and health impact of fracking — said they are considering a legal challenge to the law.

"We have already put together a legal team with attorneys from all over the country to look at various aspects of the bill," said Annette McMichael, a property owner in Johnson County who belongs to a coalition that opposes fracking. "We are looking at what legal avenue to pursue."

One of the sponsors of the bill, Sen. Michael Frerichs, D-Champaign, said the fact that fracking is already happening in Illinois makes the law that much more important as the state moves to "protect the environment while allowing for job creation."

Environmental groups that helped craft the legislation said they were hopeful the safeguards will address their continued concerns about the method's "environmental impact."

"The environmental community looks forward to working with the governor and agencies to make sure that this bill is strongly enforced," Jan Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said in statement released by Quinn's office.

According to Quinn's office, the law would make Illinois the first state in the nation to require hydraulic fracturing operators to submit chemical disclosures to the state both before and after fracking, as well as require the companies to conduct water testing before the fracking process and then again a number of times after it's completed.

While state records indicate that hydraulic fracturing has begun on a limited basis in parts of Illinois, it will it will be a while before it begins in earnest because the state's Department of Natural Resources must hire dozens of new engineers, inspectors, attorneys and other experts.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press