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Application To Start Fracking In Illinois Draws Protest

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A proposal to begin fracking in Illinois drew protesters outside the Thompson Center Monday afternoon.

White County, Illinois is 300 miles away from Chicago, and is where a Kansas-based company wants to begin fracking in Illinois for gas production.

Even though it's a long way from here, protest organizer Jessica Fujan, of Food and Water Watch, says Chicago people should be concerned about a fracking permit from the state of Illinois -- and she says it would set a dangerous precedent.

"If the permit is approved, the first fracking well will begin to operate in White County, endangering the drinking water to people in that area, increasing heavy truck traffic and also setting a terrible precedent for what kind of energy industries we want to be expanding in 2017."

The fracking permit application from Woolsey Operating Company is the first permit application in the state.

(Credit: Steve Miller / WBBM)

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the approval or rejection of the application will most likely be decided by late August.

WBBM has asked the Governor's office for comment.

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