The Illinois Senate approved legislation Thursday aimed at regulating hydraulic fracturing, a process used to extract oil and gas from rock and shale.
The so-called “fracking” proposal, approved on a unanimous vote, would require companies to disclose what chemicals they use when they pump fluids deep into the earth in an attempt to release oil and gas. It also would require the testing of pumping equipment to ensure that groundwater is not contaminated during the drilling process.
The legislation comes as companies are scouting potential drilling locations in southeastern Illinois. It is backed by the Illinois Petroleum Council and the Sierra Club.
Sen. John Jones, R-Mount Vernon, who spent four decades doing similar types of drilling in Illinois, said the proposal is an excellent compromise between drillers and environmentalists.
“This is a great piece of legislation,” he said.
The measure now heads to the House for further action.