Judge denies injunction to block Illinois hydraulic fracturing permits

On November 21 a Madison County judge denied an injunction in the first lawsuit to challenge the Illinois fracking rules, finding that environmental groups and landowners failed to demonstrate that they were in immediate danger. Following publication of the rules in mid-November, southern Illinois landowners – along with environmental groups – filed suit in state court seeking an injunction against the publication of new regulations that would allow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to issue hydraulic fracturing permits. The suit raises various procedural claims, including that the state allegedly:

  • failed to provide the required notice for public hearings;
  • did not consider certain studies when developing the regulations; and
  • failed to respond to public questions during a public hearing.

NGOs file suit challenging permitting of waste-disposal facilities

On November 19 two environmental groups filed suit in Franklin County Court challenging approvals by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for approximately 20 waste-disposal facilities which handle wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. The complaint alleges that the DNR bypassed the official rulemaking process required to permit such facilities. The facilities have been authorised by temporary permits issued by the DNR, pending new final rules to be issued by the department that will further regulate these disposal sites. The complaint challenges the temporary authorisations and seeks an injunction compelling the DNR to implement permanent regulations before allowing these disposal facilities to accept hydraulic fracturing waste.

Roger Martella, Samuel Boxerman, Joel Visser orJim Wedeking

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