A bill to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois is delayed in a House committee while industry and unions negotiate hiring requirements.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Bradley, introduced an amendment this week that would require energy companies to hire a state-licensed water-well driller.
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 Spokesman Ed Maher says that is meant to ensure that drinking-water aquifers aren’t contaminated during hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
Fracking uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations and release oil and natural gas.
Illinois Petroleum Council Executive Director Jim Watson says companies worry about safely bringing another person onto the job site.
Bradley says the bill has “a lot of pieces,” and he wants to ensure it’s done right.