A southwestern Illinois judge has denied a bid by landowners group to put Illinois' new rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling on hold.
Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder rejected the request for a preliminary injunction on Friday. That was three days after she heard arguments about the rules meant to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
Attorneys for the landowners had insisted that the state's rules were procedurally flawed. Attorneys for the state countered that the public had sufficient input.
Fracking generally uses a mixture of water, chemicals and sand to crack rock formations deep underground and release trapped oil and gas. Opponents fear it can cause air and water pollution and health problems. Industry officials contend the method is safe and will create needed jobs in southern Illinois.