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updated: 5/21/2013 10:40 AM

Ill. House committee OKs fracking regulatory bill

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  • In this June 25, 2012 file photo, a crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa., the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

      In this June 25, 2012 file photo, a crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa., the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- An Illinois House committee has OK'd a measure to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in the state.

The House Executive Committee voted 11-0 Tuesday to move to the full House a bill meant to kick-start hydraulic fracturing, "or fracking" in southern Illinois.

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

The proposal has been described as the strictest in the nation. It outlines rules energy companies would have to follow.

The bill requires that companies disclose fracking chemicals and test water before and after drilling. It also holds them liable for contamination.

The measure's opponents worry it would cause air and water pollution and deplete water resources.

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