Illinois’ first fracking permit reignites controversy

ENFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ An application for a fracking permit in southern Illinois has revived the debate on high-volume oil and gas drilling.

The practice was signed into law in Illinois in 2013. Opponents fear it’ll cause pollution and health problems, while industry and other supporters say it’s safe and will create badly-needed jobs.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/2te9kqD ) Kansas-based Woolsey Companies Inc., seeks permission to drill a mile-deep well in White County. Woolsey vice president of business development Mark Sooter says company officials expect the process to take time.

Environmentalists are raising concerns about their application.

Though fracking was approved four years ago, it’s been a slow start. Illinois’ regulations were hailed as among the toughest nationwide, but the issue became contentious once state officials began writing rules to implement the law.