Nonprofit Compares NC, National Fracking Guidelines

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A review team says North Carolina's environmental agency will need to prepare regulations if the state decides to allow a controversial drilling technique for underground natural gas deposits.

The nonprofit organization issued a report Tuesday comparing state environmental regulations concerning fracking to national guidelines. The group called State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations made no recommendations on whether North Carolina should allow fracking, but said if it happens, state regulations would have to be prepared.

The Legislature passed a law last year to study fracking, which uses high-pressure water and chemicals to free natural gas trapped in underground shale rock.

North Carolina has no oil and gas production. About 125 wells that were drilled over a 70-year period ending in the mid-1990s have all been plugged.

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