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DEKALB, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says crews are trying to finish a series of controlled burns around the state.
 
WNIJ Radio reports the fires that are deliberately set to stimulate certain plant growth got a late start this year. That's because the ground was wet and snow covered after the long, harsh winter. Burning typically begins in mid-March and runs through mid-April.
 
Chris Young is a spokesman for the agency. He says some crews have finished the controlled burns in portions of the state, but are still conducting them in northern Illinois.
 
Young says there's no set number of acres that needs to be burned this year, but the agency typically burns between 10,000 and 20,000.
 
The areas that are burned are typically portions of prairies and woodlands.
Published in Local News
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - It's the final day to submit public comment on proposed rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.
Environmentalists say thousands of comments have been submitted about the process known as hydraulic fracturing. The Southern Illinoisan reports the final number of written comments will be tallied after the public comment period ends Friday.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will use the comments to evaluate possible rule changes. A panel of legislators will give final approval.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed regulations into law last year that were hailed as among the toughest in the nation.
Supporters say fracking will create thousands of jobs. Opponents fear it could pollute water resources.
Published in Local News

Illinois environmental officials say it will be at least a year before the process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is conducted in the state.

The Springfield State Journal reports the new state regulations for the practice are nearly complete.  

Marc Miller, the director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, says it will take months before permits are issued.  That's because the state still needs to hold public hearings.  

Miller says no companies have registered to conduct fracking since the state started sign-ups last month.  

Fracking uses a high-pressure mixture of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack underground rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials say the number of deer that have died from a viral disease spread by biting gnats has fallen dramatically this year.

   In a news release, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources reports that through the end of September, 403 deer died as a result of what is called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or EHD. That compares to more than 2,000 probable EHD deaths for the same period last year.

   Also, the number of counties where EHD has been reported has dropped from 76 counties during the first nine months of last year to 51 counties for the period this year. Officials say they believe the exposure to EHD last year has made deer populations more resistant to the disease this year.

 
Published in Local News

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