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NC regulators: Fracking is safe with right rules

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By EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina's environmental agency says a high-pressure drilling technique to free underground natural gas deposits can be safe if lawmakers adopt the right precautions.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Friday released its study required by the Legislature of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The General Assembly would have to develop regulations before the drilling technique that has been blamed for polluting underground water and even causing earthquakes is allowed in North Carolina. Supporters say drilling would mean jobs and profits with little environmental risk.

Fracking uses high-pressure water and secret mixes of chemicals to crack underground shale rock and release natural gas.

DENR offers more than a dozen recommendations for lawmakers, including full disclosure of chemicals to regulators and banning the use of diesel fuel.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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