The oil and gas exploration company, Bridge Resources, wants to start producing natural gas from its wells in Payette County later this year.
As Boise State Public Radio's Sadie Babits reports the company cleared a major hurdle Tuesday with the state's oil and gas commission.
The commission agreed to let Bridge Resources do what's called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking". That's when a high pressured solution gets shot down a well to break up oil bearing rock.
There are concerns this process can contaminate drinking water. But Kim Parsons with the company says it's highly unlikely.
Kim Parsons: "When we drill we use a benign drilling mud and we get through it as quickly as possible and we'll set two to three layers of steel and cement that protect from whatever is in our drilling bore hole from the aquifers so there's no contamination."
Hydraulic fracturing in other states has prompted an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency into whether these often secret solutions can get into drinking water.
Two congressional Democrats from Colorado have introduced legislation that would require companies to disclose what goes into fracking fluids.
Bridge Resources already lists its solution on its website. Still Justin Hayes with the Idaho Conservation League has concerns.
Justin Hayes: "The temporary rule that was passed is pretty much doors wide open this industry is going to be able to do what it's done in Wyoming, what it's done Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and I don't think our ground water in Idaho will be protected."
Hayes wanted Idaho's oil and gas commission to prohibit any hazardous materials in fracking fluids to help protect ground water. He also requested limits on how far down hydraulic fracturing could take place.
The governor, the attorney general and other statewide elected leaders listened but in the end agreed to move forward. They also gave Bridge Resources the okay to drill new wells on smaller sections of land.
Idaho Conservation League: