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Environment

Report: NC Not Ready for Hydraulic Fracturing

State Environmental officials say an independent study concludes North Carolina needs more regulations before some natural gas drilling can take place.

Jeff Tiberii: The process of horizontal drilling is sometimes known as fracking. It injects water and chemicals underground to crack open shale deposits holding natural gas. Legislators are considering allowing the practice across the state. Diana Keys is with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. She says the state does not have a history of extracting oil and gas and the previous standards were not set up with hydraulic fracturing in mind.

Diana Keys: Prior to any sale gas exploration or extraction we need to put together a regulatory program that will take a look at what those impacts could be and make sure we’re regulating those to make sure we’re protecting the environment.

Keys declined to say how long it might take to set up those procedures. The full report comes out next month. Findings will be presented at two public meetings in March, where public comments will be accepted.

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