Opponents of hydraulic fracturing in Illinois have appealed a circuit judge's refusal to temporarily halt permits for hydraulic fracturing, pending a decision on state regulation of the practice.
Last month, Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder denied a request for a preliminary injunction against new rules from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The suit, brought by a group of Southern Illinois landowners, alleged that the rule-making process was flawed, that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources did not consider scientific studies, and denied the public a chance to address the information relied upon to draft the rules. The plaintiffs wanted a preliminary injunction that "directs the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to renew the rulemaking process" for the state's hydraulic fracturing regulatory act.
Crowder’s ruling was focused on the issue of the preliminary injunction, in which the landowners had to prove they would suffer an irreparable injury without an injunction. Crowder concluded allowing the state to issue permits pending a decision on fracturing regulations would not harm opponents. The decision allows the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to continue to issue permits under the current regulations.
Attorneys for Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment have now asked the Fifth District Appellate Court to hear the matter. It is not known when the appellate court might hear the case.