Southern Illinois residents seeking injunction to stop new fracking rules from taking effect

A group of Illinois landowners has sued the Department of Natural Resources to stop the state's new rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling from taking effect.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Madison County Circuit Court seeks a preliminary injunction, claiming the DNR violated several rulemaking procedures as it worked to implement a state law to regulate hydraulic fracturing. A hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Among the allegations is that the DNR's first rules notice didn't include scientific studies, denying the public a chance to address the specific information the agency relied upon to draft them.

A DNR spokesman did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Fracking uses a mixture of water, chemicals and sand to release trapped oil and gas.

Opponents fear it will cause pollution and health problems, and could trigger earthquakes. Supporters say it's safe and will bring jobs to southern Illinois.