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State Lags in Hiring to Oversee ‘fracking’ Accord

WGIL Newsroom . State News 215

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has hired just four of 53 new employees it says it needs to oversee a much praised compromise on regulating hydraulic fracturing.

The agency has come under increasing criticism from “fracking” supporters who had hoped that high-volume oil and gas drilling could begin this summer.

They say the agency should have finished writing rules to implement the state’s year-old fracking law. But the agency doesn’t yet have enough experts to issue permits, inspect wells and perform other tasks associated with the anticipated influx of drilling activity.

DNR Director Marc Miller says the agency is making good progress, and will meet a Nov. 15 deadline. He says 23 jobs are posted, and the agency should have 15 people on board by the end of July.

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